Title

Building New Networks From the Old: Women's Experiences With Electronic Communications

Publication Title

Computers and Composition

Publication Date

1994

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1016/8755-4615(94)90004-3

Keywords

computer-assisted instruction, networking, e-mail, writing instruction, gender, democracy

Disciplines

Communication Technology and New Media | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication

Abstract

Although computer networking holds the potential for empowering, egalitarian experiences for participants, the experiences of women using e-mail point, as well, to ways that the technology supports and replicates structures of dominance and oppression. As scholarship in composition has not accounted for the sexual commodification and harassment of women using e-mail, this article turns to research done in human-factors research, business, and sociology in order to contextualize the discussion of the ways computer-mediated communications changes the environment in which they are placed. This research supports the argument that patterns of interaction deeply entrenched within a patriarchal system cannot be undermined simply by offering access to a new medium. In moving away from traditional discourse forms that oppress and marginalize women without analyzing the ideologies that inform their formation and staying power, we run the risk of those ideologies becoming dominant once again in another forum.

Publisher

Elsevier

Publisher Location

Amsterdam, Netherlands


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