By H. Corneliussen
Via empirical fabric in addition to theoretical discussions, this publication explores advancements in gender-technology relations from the 1980s to at the present time. the writer attracts on her long-lasting study within the box, offering perception in either old and more moderen discussions of gender relating to desktops and computing.
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Extra info for Gender-Technology Relations: Exploring Stability and Change
In a Derridean sense, the discourse has no centre of its own – there Disrupting the Impression of Stability 23 is no single meaning from which the discourse springs (Laclau and Mouffe, 1985, p. 112). Jacques Derrida describes a discourse as ‘a differential system in which the absence of a transcendental signified, in terms of a privileged centre, extends the play of signification infinitely’ (Derrida, 1978, p. 280). Instead of a fixed centre, a discourse is built upon moments, the meaningful discursive components, tied together in chains of equivalence.
We will explore how these discussions of gender and computer technology helped construct the discourse about computers in a particular way, through a series of ‘discursive logics’ that resulted in a homogeneous and hegemonic discourse in the period up until 2000, creating different expectations about men’s and women’s relations to the computer. Despite the seeming stability, there have been notable discursive changes since 2000 that will be discussed in the second part of the chapter. 6 Although the computer as such was not new at that time, the advent of personal computers drastically increased the potential availability of computer technology for private use.
These discursive logics all worked to homogenize the discourse by including meanings that supported the hegemonic discourse, while excluding meanings that threatened it. However, it is important to note that discourses do change, despite their seemingly stable and fixed qualities. In this section we will see attempts to rewrite the discourse before 2000, as well as the entry of new voices and new meanings after 2000. , 1997; Faulkner and Lie, 2007). 66 In Chapter 3 we will see how the gender question in computer education and recruitment initiatives has been treated along different lines within the educational institutions, from a ‘gender-blind’ to a ‘masculine’ and a ‘feminized’ discourse of computing.