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Donna Haraway’s concept of the cyborg is a radical archetype for emancipatory self-construction that models conscious reshaping of socially imposed identities. The cyborg represents the plasticity of our socially constructed identities: our ability to transcend the limits of prefabricated identities and overwrite oppressive, socially imposed roles. Understanding social construction through this lens gives social workers and clients the conceptual tools to deconstruct rigid identities—particularly those of gender identity—imposed by society. These identities are the subject of active political contestation; they are the product of economic, social, and cultural relations and institutions. The concept of the cyborg provides an emancipatory model that denaturalizes and destabilizes rigid essentialist binaries and instead recognizes the chimeric multiplicity of the individual.
Keywords: cyborg, social construction, identity, gender, feminism
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