• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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. How do you use ergonomics?

    In a phrase, the job must 'fit the person' in all respects, and the work situation should not compromise human capabilities and limitations. The contribution of basic anatomy lies in improving physical 'fit' between people and the things they use, ranging from hand tools to aircraft cockpit design.

  2. Robotics.There are many different types of robots used to do many different types of ...

    Also what is more important is that the robot load capability includes the weight of the end-effecter, which is sometimes considered as well as the maximum total weight of the actual work piece. The first industrial robot was created by Unimat and was purchased by the Ford Company in 1961.

  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. Free essay

    Systems Case Study

    but would both cost a lot to install on the system and onto every single computer. It is something though which they may want to consider. * Recommendation number 2: Every single e-mail that is sent through the Canary Wharf system that is not text is sent straight into quarantine.

  1. Technology in American History.

    United States of America to its knees because of the reliance on foreign oil, and helped destroy communities. Once highways were built, people could commute to work which meant it was possible to move away from the city and out into the suburbs.

  2. My aim for this project is to design and construct a fully functioning alarm ...

    The test was successful. It counted up to 24 hours then repeated itself. I am now going to add switches to port B to enable me to change and set the time correctly. Dim A As Integer Dim B As Integer Dim Mu As Integer Dim Mt As Integer Dim

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

    Evaluation 13/06/02 23/06/02 Note: variations have occurred due to other projects taking longer than their allocated designs. Financial Plan: Item Date purchased Cost Project Total Budget/Bal. $50.00 Record 24/05/02 $01.00 $01.00 $49.00 Clock 24/05/02 $11.00 $12.00 $38.00 Train ticket 24/05/02 $01.30 $13.30 $36.70 Disposable camera 24/05/02 $13.00 $26.30 $23.70 Paper

  2. My product study will focus on a "smallish stereo-headphone cassette player" (Klein's description of ...

    ACRYLONITRILEBUTADIENESTYRENE Many of the original models of Walkman, and the cheaper and sports range of Walkman models, are made from a thermosetting plastic called Acrylonitrilebutadienestyrene, generically known as ABS. ABS is used in the production of Walkmans for a variety of reasons.

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