• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent can we talk about the design and use of ICTs as gendered?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent can we talk about the design and use of ICTs as gendered? In contemporary society, media and communication technologies, as are all other technologies, are gendered: in the way they are designed, produced and marketed as well as in the way that they are used. In the course of history, a more or less stable relationship between masculinity and technology has taken shape. Masculinity and technology are assumed to be intimately related to one another. It is argued that there is a definite "cultural association between masculinity and technology" (Grint and Gill: 3). Following on from this is the other popular assumption that all technology is created, designed by and there for masculine users. However, today's generations and the future may hold some changes in the gendering of technologies. To what extent have new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) such as computers, computer-games, mobile phones and Internet sites come to signify masculinity? What may have begun as a "sexist humour about women's technical incompetence" (Grint and Gill: 3) has now developed into some thing much more serious. Feminists have claimed that "social relations of technologies are gendered" (Cockburn: 32), and it is true that we cannot fully understand technology today without a "reference to gender" (Cockburn: 32). ...read more.


In some cases this statement may be true and many peoples ideologies have adapted to believe that it is men who are in control of technologies. In their view "society is presumed to be made up of two discrete cultures- a male (patriarchal) one and an undervalued female one" (Grint and Gill: 6). However, with changing times, these ideologies will also be forced to change and people will begin to realise that women are just as capable as men at designing and implementing technologies. Past experiences have limited women's opportunities in this field but today and in the future this will change. The second view is that of Liberal Feminists. They see technology as neutral and see men and women as being positioned differently in relation to it. These ideas support my views that it is the positioning and ideologies that need to change not the technologies. They follow on this argument stating that gender stereotyping has led to the assumption that women 'lag' behind men in the understanding of technologies. This is because they have, due to these continuous assumptions, adopted this role. Although this ideology sees women as the problem who need to adopt masculine ways of relating to technology, to an extent this is true. ...read more.


They see ICTs as "purely functional" Livingstone: 119) and even as a "substitute for social contact" (Livingstone: 121). Women on the other hand assess the "utility of objects" (Livingstone: 120) and see technologies as a way to "facilitate social contact" (Livingstone: 121), for example the telephone. The design and use of technologies is gendered to a huge extent, but in different ways. On the production line technologies are produced by men and could therefore be gendered as masculine. There has been a continuous ideology that women should not be included in the design of technologies so therefore, the design of technologies is a masculine activity. However, at the moment, there remain clear gender differences when referring to a technology, particularly accounting for the use of a particular technology within the home. Many have become largel gendered faminine within the home and their uses. It seems that throughout history, technologies have become gendered, firstly in their manufacturing and then in their uses and this still remains today. There are definitely different gender relations when it comes to technology and ICTs are gendered both in their use and their design. Ultimately, ICTs are gendered to a large extent in both areas. Male in their design and feminine in their uses in the home as necessities. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Design and Technology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Design and Technology essays

  1. Nano technology - Screen technology is a fast changing technology area.

    SI Diamond Technology says the price of this new generation of displays will be, inch for inch, the same as for current CRT TVs. SED Canon and Toshiba come out with what they call "surface-conduction electrode-emitter devices" (SEDs). Tipped to launch late next year, with large-screen product to be aimed at the booming plasma market.

  2. Electronics AS project

    Power Transducer This electrical component is voltage operated which has a very large input resistance and a large current gain. This will increase the power needed to sound the buzzer alarm. 555 Astable The heart of the circuit is a 555 timer chip configured in astable mode This means the out put at pin 3 is constantly changing, i.e.

  1. Free essay

    Future Technologies

    Nanotechnology a combination of VR technology, computers and gene engineering and Bio Cybernetics a combination of Computer technology gene engineering and nanotechnology. I will explain these future technology further down. It is impossible to summarize them because these technologies are too complicated and there are so many possibilities, which result

  2. It is important that Sarah is blind having access to speech and Braille output ...

    Eventually, ensuring that all of the educational opportunities that technology provides are accessible to her will support her economy and give to the creation of a level playing field. Special needs - Social Time- unit 3c Category: communication- PDA Sarah used to take notes or use the Braille to help

  1. The effects of technology on modern industrial society.

    The only requirements are a moderate amount of intelligence, and most of all, simple OBEDIENCE."[Emphasis is his] That may very well be the reason why our society that offers a myriad of pleasure still witnesses suicide and clinical depression. Another effect of technology with regards to daily life is that

  2. The proposed design project is to design, produce and evaluate an innovative recycled clock, ...

    * Sanding old plywood. * Decoupage onto plywood. * Drilling hole through decoupage' plywood. * Securing backing (plywood) to hold the clock together. * Setting up clock mechanism. * SIZE REQUIREMENTS? No size requirements exist. * WHAT MATERIALS AND PROCESSES? I already know how to use most of the tools and those that I don't I will experience

  1. Design Brief - The manager of a local 'super store' has asked you to ...

    the majority of people asked said they prefer contemporary designs. My designs will need to be contemporary. I will need to carry out some further research into this type of design.) Design Specification To be successful my design must: 1.

  2. Were developing a shoe removal detector which identifies and notifies a person entering the ...

    Comparatively cheaper and reliable method. Advantages Cheaper option. Reliable. Many electronic components to use. Can use a bigger pad to step foot on. Will work even with reasonable thick socks Disadvantages complex circuit > Resistive touch pad This works by lowering the resistance between 2 pieces of metal.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work