Title

Complicated Women: Examining Methodologies for Understanding the Uses of Technology

Publication Title

Computers and Composition

Publication Date

2000

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1016/S8755-4615(00)00025-6

Keywords

computer technologies, feminist theory, narratives, research methodology, women

Disciplines

Computer Sciences | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Women's Studies

Abstract

In this article, I call for more complicated understandings of the relationship between women and technology, arguing that two interpretive frameworks interfere with our current representations of women and technology: a reliance on what Paul V. Anderson (1998) has called “person-based research” (p. 63) and an either/or framework for thinking about technology. Recent scholarship is firmly grounded in an awareness that technologies are always ideological, that technologies can be used to both oppressive and empowering ends, and that disempowered groups are more likely to be oppressed than empowered by technologies. Although composition has developed a complicated understanding of the ideologies of technology, we have not focused our attention in a systematic way on the perhaps unique relationship of women and technology. I draw on feminist technology theorists’ constructions of technology as always ideological but never predetermined in its meanings for users as a way of beginning this project.

Publisher

Elsevier Science


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