Spectres of new media technologies: the hope for democracy in the postcolonial public sphere

Labiste, Ma Diosa (2013). Spectres of new media technologies: the hope for democracy in the postcolonial public sphere. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study is an intervention in postcolonial theorising through a critique of technologies of representation. It examines the effects of technologically-mediated representation in a postcolonial condition that the Philippines has exemplified. New media technologies are mechanisms of representations that embody the logic of spectrality presented in Jacques Derrida’s later work. Spectrality, which brings doubts, ephemerality, and instability to dominant discourses and modes of representation, provides a chance for change.Spectres are effects of technologically-mediated representation that articulate the infinite demand for justice under conditions of enduring inequality. As quasi-transcendental elements of deconstruction, spectres are not reducible to either human or technical intervention; they express the relation of humans to technologies, in which representation is central to the mediation of political authority. This technological representation is the condition of what Derrida calls “iteration,” or the transformation of hegemonic authority through the very repetition of its fundamental terms of identification.
The examination of emancipatory new media technologies in a postcolonial condition is inspired by the work of Jacques Derrida, in his deconstructive reading of Marx’s spectres. However, the writings of Habermas and Adorno have offered an implicit appraisal of the ontology of spectres. Habermas’s theory of the public sphere and Adorno’s negative dialectics are discourses that unwittingly solicit spectres. The account of the postcolonial condition in the Philippines works through the questions of universality, subalternity, and the right to theory that are raised by the project of Western critical theory.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Ford Foundation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/3800


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