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THE AMBIVALENCE OF SCIENCE FICTION: SCIENCE FICTION, NEO-IMPERIALISM, AND THE IDEOLOGY OF MODERNITY AS PROGRESS

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Date Issued:
2013
Abstract/Description:
This thesis sets out to examine the relationship between science fiction and its conditions of production, specifically interrogating the genre's articulations of the ideology of modernity as progress. Sf has been characterized variously as a characteristically useful critical engagement with the ideologies of its context and as wholly ideological at the level of form, relying on the authority of a scientific episteme in its "cognitive estrangements," while not obligated to operate within the boundaries of this episteme. As such, the genre is unparalleled in its capacity to articulate ideologies under the guise of a putatively neutral science and reason. However, this same formal action places the genre in the unique position of being able to utilize the authority of a scientific episteme to re-evaluate the putative neutrality of that very scientific episteme. As a result, this study concludes that while the genre's reliance on the external authority of science in "cognitively" organizing its estrangements may make it particularly conducive to articulating ideological technoscience and the ideology of modernity as progress, the genre is characteristically ambivalent in this respect, both at the level of form and as a result of the incongruities between form and narrative. To support my thesis I engage a number of science fictional texts, focusing on Golden Age sf of the mid-20th century, while also branching out into explorations of a variety of 20th and 21st century sf texts, including texts from the pulp era, New Wave, cyberpunk, and post-singularity sf. I analyze within the effects of the conceptual mapping of society in terms of the natural sciences in sf, as well as the ambivalent presence of the robot as a megatextual motif, exploring the relationship of these to the ideology of modernity as progress and the post-scarcity fantasy of global mass consumption prosperity.
Title: THE AMBIVALENCE OF SCIENCE FICTION: SCIENCE FICTION, NEO-IMPERIALISM, AND THE IDEOLOGY OF MODERNITY AS PROGRESS.
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Name(s): Hall, Graham, Author
Campbell, James, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis sets out to examine the relationship between science fiction and its conditions of production, specifically interrogating the genre's articulations of the ideology of modernity as progress. Sf has been characterized variously as a characteristically useful critical engagement with the ideologies of its context and as wholly ideological at the level of form, relying on the authority of a scientific episteme in its "cognitive estrangements," while not obligated to operate within the boundaries of this episteme. As such, the genre is unparalleled in its capacity to articulate ideologies under the guise of a putatively neutral science and reason. However, this same formal action places the genre in the unique position of being able to utilize the authority of a scientific episteme to re-evaluate the putative neutrality of that very scientific episteme. As a result, this study concludes that while the genre's reliance on the external authority of science in "cognitively" organizing its estrangements may make it particularly conducive to articulating ideological technoscience and the ideology of modernity as progress, the genre is characteristically ambivalent in this respect, both at the level of form and as a result of the incongruities between form and narrative. To support my thesis I engage a number of science fictional texts, focusing on Golden Age sf of the mid-20th century, while also branching out into explorations of a variety of 20th and 21st century sf texts, including texts from the pulp era, New Wave, cyberpunk, and post-singularity sf. I analyze within the effects of the conceptual mapping of society in terms of the natural sciences in sf, as well as the ambivalent presence of the robot as a megatextual motif, exploring the relationship of these to the ideology of modernity as progress and the post-scarcity fantasy of global mass consumption prosperity.
Identifier: CFH0004471 (IID), ucf:45121 (fedora)
Note(s): 2013-08-01
B.A.
Arts and Humanities, Dept. of English
Bachelors
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): sf
science fiction
golden age
neo-imperialism
modernity
progress
ambivalence
technical rationality
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFH0004471
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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