Examining gender and technology/IT through feminist lenses

Conference paper

Chao, Shu-Hua. (2016). Examining gender and technology/IT through feminist lenses. Australian Council for Computers in Education 2016 conference. Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane, Australia 29 Sep - 02 Oct 2016 The Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education. pp. 23-30
AuthorsChao, Shu-Hua
TypeConference paper

There has been a number of well-documented studies surrounding the gendered representation in IT-related fields of studies and professions, but often without the backing of sound theoretical analysis to critically examine females’ roles and relationships with technology/IT. This paper presents an overview of ten feminist theories to describe and explain and females’ relationships with technology/IT, as well as the subordination and unjustification that females at times inevitably face. The eight feminist approaches (liberal, socialist, racial/ethnic, essentialist/eco, existentialist, psychoanalytic, postmodern and cyberfeminism) are presented in this paper. These feminist approaches theorise the often complex relationships females have with technology/IT due to unnoticed, embedded patriarchal ideals which creates a gender dichotomy in education or in professions relating to technology/IT. While there have been numerous studies on the participation of females in technology/IT related studies or professions, there are comparatively fewer studies which adopt feminist theories to closely examine the underlying factors accounting for the gender disparity in traditionally male-dominated fields of technology/IT studies and careers, which continues to persist. This paper aims to present short ‘snippets’ of feminist theories, and how each can be used to examine the often complex interrelationships of the experiences of males’ and females’ roles in technology/IT. A postmodern feminist approach is proposed for a potential future study concerning females’ choices of IT related courses in higher education. An overview of feminist theories presents a starting point for those who may be interested in utilising a particular feminist approach to more deeply examine females and technology/IT, and to gain richer insights into the dynamics of the two.

PublisherThe Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education
Page range23-30
Book editorPrestridge, Sarah
Albion, Peter
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
OnlineSep 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Oct 2021
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