Introduction: The Social Brain and Corporeal Politics
The materialization of the mind and the rise of a plastic, social conception of the brain have rendered neuroscience relevant to understanding the self and society. This chapter situates brain knowledge in the context of a materialist turn in social thought. It argues that the social, plastic brain is not politically neutral; rather, its implicit and explicit corporeal politics must be confronted. It argues that critique is necessary because neuroscience is not a neutral lens through which to view the neurobiological body. However, negative critique is not sufficient. Rather, feminist and queer perspectives must be brought to bear on ontological questions about the neurobiological body. This chapter and the book as a whole argue for the material-semiotic complexity of embrained embodiment.