Doing Gender Differently - Tales of Terror and Joy within the Finnish ICT-Business

23 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2008

See all articles by Päivi Eriksson

Päivi Eriksson

University of Eastern Finland

Elina Henttonen

Aalto University

Susan Meriläinen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 4, 2008

Abstract

This paper makes an attempt to do gender differently in relation to technology and business. Our goal is to re-read media texts telling stories about women owner-managers in the context of the Finnish ICT-sector in a way that contests conventional readings, which rely on distinctions between men and women and their expertise in technology and business. In the spirit of the narrative research approaches, which emphasizes the importance of stories in understanding human life and bringing about social change, we challenge cultural pre-assumptions according to which women are not interested nor competent in technological issues but, instead, use their time and energy to managerial activities. Thus, our paper provides a novel reading, which represents women owner-managers as diverse, complex and ambiguous actors who have multiple and contradictory roles, desires and goals as well as various ways of acting in relation to technology and business. In other words, we aim at transforming a tale of terror which constructs narrow images of gendered expertise into a tale of joy which challenges the stereotypical images about gender, technology and business in terms of what is considered to be normal, acceptable and possible for the actors.

Keywords: women owner-managers, expertise, gender, media, ICT, narrative

JEL Classification: M13

Suggested Citation

Eriksson, Päivi and Henttonen, Elina and Meriläinen, Susan, Doing Gender Differently - Tales of Terror and Joy within the Finnish ICT-Business (August 4, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1200422 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1200422

Päivi Eriksson

University of Eastern Finland ( email )

Kuopio, 70211
Finland

Elina Henttonen (Contact Author)

Aalto University ( email )

P.O. Box 21210
Aalto, FI-00076
Finland

Susan Meriläinen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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