Can diversity give neoliberal technoscience more than it bargained for? LGBTQ+ researchers and queering standpoints

Steven Fifield, Will Letts

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In this chapter we argue that neoliberal technoscience seeks to co-opt LGBTQ+and allied researcher diversities to satisfy its unjust desires. In response, we consider how standpoint methodologies and queer theorising can resist neoliberalism’s commodifying embrace of diversity to reorient technoscience toward theflourishing of all humans and other beings. Sandra Harding (e.g. Harding, 1986,1991) and other feminist critics of technoscience (e.g. Haraway, 1991, 1997;Keller, 1985; Rose, 1994) have asked, How is it possible to do technoscience forsocial justice when its normal ways of knowing and intervening disregard oroppose the interests of most humans and other beings, and when technoscienceequity initiatives merely seek increased demographic diversity in knowledgemaking regimes that otherwise remain largely unchallenged? Institutional technoscience under neoliberalism solicits underrepresented groups because diversity,as a normative institutional virtue, is seen as advancing, not challenging, existingvalues and goals (see Ahmed, 2012). Despite this solicitousness, institutional andcultural barriers to difference remain that advocacy groups, such as QueersInScience Australia, are working to expose and eliminate. We celebrate increaseddiversity in technoscience, but we envision more radical change in which advocacygroups foster queering standpoints of resistance to neoliberal rationalities in technoscience and society. Queering standpoints as we imagine them would extendfeminist standpoint methodologies toward broad visions of where and how liberatory standpoints can arise from lives and sensibilities on the interior margins oftechnoscience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender, feminist and queer studies
Subtitle of host publicationPower, privilege and inequality in a time of neoliberal conservatism
EditorsDonna Bridges, Clifford Lewis, Elizabeth Wulff, Chelsea Litchfield, Larissa Bamberry
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic) 9781003316954
ISBN (Print) 9781032328294
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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