Engendering Tech

Just another WordPress.com weblog

And this is about?

A recent book, Cyberfeminism in Northern Lights, claims that earlier research on gender and technology has been US and UK-centric, taking the experiences of people in those countries as universal and ignoring differences in the construction of gender and in the actual living conditions of men and women in other countries. Further, some earlier research is argued to have been biased by existing stereotyped beliefs
about how men and women use technology.

In an effort to gain a more accurate view of how women engage with technology I am conducting interviews to study men’s and women’s roles in the institutionalization of new media in the Netherlands. In particular I look at how women get started with technology, how they use it, and how they have entered and participated in the development of new media and the surrounding discourse. In this respect the project looks at the way an emerging culture of knowledge is gendered.

Women and men from their early 30s to mid 60s are being interviewed about their participation as artists, scholars, and activists in the Dutch new media field. As the project develops, some will contribute directly to the site as well. This is research in progress and does not aim to confirm a definitive alternate story of technology and gender. The discourse analysis performed, and the questions explored about how to best deal with experiential narratives, follows Judith Butler’s conclusion that subjects are always to some degree opaque to each other.  These interviews instead reveal that the way we speak about how men and women use technology, the way we frame research questions, and the way users describe their own activities, shape our perceptions of how women use technology and of the technology itself.


Wednesday, 26 November, 2008 Posted by | About | , | 1 Comment