This dissertation provides a study of Information Technology (IT) as professional and technical culture by drawing together the theoretical lenses of Feminist Technoscience Studies (FTS) and Science and Technology Studies (STS). This central topic has been investigated through an empirical research that focuses on two distinct issues: the gender gap and underrepresentation of women in IT educational and professional paths (computer science, computer engineering, computing); the role of digital artifacts and materiality in the process of organizing within an Italian telecommunication company. With regard to the first field, I have carried out a historical analysis of the experience of the first female coders in early digital computing era and I have conducted a set of interviews with contemporary Italian female IT professionals and practitioners who form and participate to networks and campaigns that promote women’s presence and gender awareness in computing. Drawing on contributions from STS and feminist socio-constructivist approaches in science and technology, I shall argue that the analysis of gender divide in IT should go beyond the issues of female discrimination in order to call into question the gendered nature of computer artifacts and technical knowledge (Faulkner, 2001; Misa, 2010). In the second field site, I have gone beyond the visible issues of gender asymmetries in organization in order to challenge the alleged neutral character of technical artifacts and materiality (Latour, 1992) by drawing on contributions from STS and Workplace Studies. Starting from this body of knowledge which calls into question the very boundaries between the social and the technical (Heath & Button, 2002), I have employed analytic sensibilities from FTS and the recent debate on new materialism in feminist theory (Barad, 2007; Alaimo & Hekman, 2008; Hekman, 2010; Dolphijn & van der Tuin, 2012) to trace out the agential role of materiality and technical objects in producing marginal and invisible positions (Haraway, 1988; Star, 1991; Star & Bowker, 2007). In this respect, I shall argue that technical knowledge and non-human actors take part in politics and practices of boundary-making, sustaining divisions and hierarchies (Hughes & Lury, 2013).

Troubling binary codes. Studying information technology at the intersection of science and technology studies and feminist technoscience studies

SCIANNAMBLO, MARIACRISTINA
2016-07-18

Abstract

This dissertation provides a study of Information Technology (IT) as professional and technical culture by drawing together the theoretical lenses of Feminist Technoscience Studies (FTS) and Science and Technology Studies (STS). This central topic has been investigated through an empirical research that focuses on two distinct issues: the gender gap and underrepresentation of women in IT educational and professional paths (computer science, computer engineering, computing); the role of digital artifacts and materiality in the process of organizing within an Italian telecommunication company. With regard to the first field, I have carried out a historical analysis of the experience of the first female coders in early digital computing era and I have conducted a set of interviews with contemporary Italian female IT professionals and practitioners who form and participate to networks and campaigns that promote women’s presence and gender awareness in computing. Drawing on contributions from STS and feminist socio-constructivist approaches in science and technology, I shall argue that the analysis of gender divide in IT should go beyond the issues of female discrimination in order to call into question the gendered nature of computer artifacts and technical knowledge (Faulkner, 2001; Misa, 2010). In the second field site, I have gone beyond the visible issues of gender asymmetries in organization in order to challenge the alleged neutral character of technical artifacts and materiality (Latour, 1992) by drawing on contributions from STS and Workplace Studies. Starting from this body of knowledge which calls into question the very boundaries between the social and the technical (Heath & Button, 2002), I have employed analytic sensibilities from FTS and the recent debate on new materialism in feminist theory (Barad, 2007; Alaimo & Hekman, 2008; Hekman, 2010; Dolphijn & van der Tuin, 2012) to trace out the agential role of materiality and technical objects in producing marginal and invisible positions (Haraway, 1988; Star, 1991; Star & Bowker, 2007). In this respect, I shall argue that technical knowledge and non-human actors take part in politics and practices of boundary-making, sustaining divisions and hierarchies (Hughes & Lury, 2013).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/926386
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