Scientism and instrumentalism After the Bomb: Dr Strangelove, End Zone, Crash and The Wire

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dc.contributor.advisor Young, Gwenda en
dc.contributor.author Heffernan, Niall
dc.date.accessioned 2014-04-14T15:40:52Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.date.submitted 2013
dc.identifier.citation Heffernan, N. 2013. Scientism and instrumentalism After the Bomb: Dr Strangelove, End Zone, Crash and The Wire. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 288
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/1524
dc.description.abstract This thesis argues that through the prism of America’s Cold War, scientism has emerged as the metanarrative of the postnuclear age. The advent of the bomb brought about a new primacy for mechanical and hyperrational thinking in the corridors of power not just in terms of managing the bomb itself but diffusing this ideology throughout the culture in social sciences, economics and other such institutional systems. The human need to mitigate or ameliorate against the chaos of the universe lies at the heart of not just religious faith but in the desire for perfect control. Thus there has been a transference of power from religious faith to the apparent material power of science and technology and the terra firma these supposedly objective means supply. The Cold War, however was a highly ideologically charged opposition between the two superpowers, and the scientific methodology that sprang forth to manage the Cold War and the bomb, in the United States, was not an objective scientific system divorced from the paranoia and dogma but a system that assumed a radically fundamentalist idea of capitalism. This is apparent in the widespread diffusion of game theory throughout Western postindustrial institutions. The inquiry of the thesis thus examines the texts that engage and criticise American Cold War methodology, beginning with the nuclear moment, so to speak, and Dr Strangelove’s incisive satire of moral abdication to machine processes. Moving on chronologically, the thesis examines the diffusion of particular kinds of masculinity and sexuality in postnuclear culture in Crash and End Zone and finishing up its analysis with the ethnographic portrayal of a modern American city in The Wire. More than anything else, the thesis wishes to reveal to what extent this technocratic consciousness puts pressure on language and on binding narratives. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2013, Niall Heffernan en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject The Wire en
dc.subject Cold war en
dc.subject Post-nuclear en
dc.subject Technology en
dc.subject Ballard en
dc.subject DeLillo en
dc.subject Kubrick en
dc.subject The Wire en
dc.title Scientism and instrumentalism After the Bomb: Dr Strangelove, End Zone, Crash and The Wire en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Arts) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school English en
dc.check.reason This thesis is due for publication or the author is actively seeking to publish this material en
dc.check.opt-out Yes en
dc.thesis.opt-out true
dc.check.embargoformat E-thesis on CORA only en
ucc.workflow.supervisor a.gibbs@ucc.ie
dc.internal.conferring Summer Conferring 2014


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© 2013,  Niall Heffernan Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2013, Niall Heffernan
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