Feminist Theories of Technology
Posted: 25 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 2010
Feminist theories of technology have come a long way over the last quarter of a century. The expanding engagement at the intersection of feminist scholarship and science and technology studies (STS) has enriched both fields immeasurably, and I will largely focus my reflections on the literature associated with these sites. I begin by highlighting the continuities as well as the differences between contemporary and earlier feminist debates on technology. Current approaches focus on the mutual shaping of gender and technology, in which technology is conceptualised as both a source and consequence of gender relations. In avoiding both technological determinism and gender essentialism, such theories emphasise that the gender-technology relationship is fluid and situated. These deliberations highlight how processes of technical change can influence gender power relations. A feminist politics of technology is thus key to achieving gender equality.
Keywords: Gender, Technology, Power
JEL Classification: B54, J16, 031
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