Feminism Confronts Technology
Publication Date 1 Jan 1991
Overview'Women have been actively distanced from technology by men's purposeful grip on the tools, the terms, the trades. So women have claimed, in a literature by now diverse and angry. Thorough and original in its analysis, Judy Wajcman's book makes an important contribution to this theme in contemporary feminism.' Cynthia Cockburn, City University 'I am very enthusiastic about this book. The topics [are] well chosen, the literature reviews complete.and the analysis consistent and sound.' Ruth Schwartz Cowan, State University of New York at Stony Brook 'Comprehensive and accessible, this is essential reading for undergraduates in sociology, social history and women's studies.' Donald MacKenzie, Department of Sociology, Edinburgh University From word processors to food processors, genetic engineering to the design of cities, the pace of technological change seems to outstrip our ability to control it. Popular stereotypes depict women as technologically incompetent or invisible in technical spheres. Does the problem lie in men's monopoly of technology, or is technology itself inherently patriarchal? Can technology liberate women - or are the new technologies reinforcing sexual divisions in society? In the first major work of its kind, Judy Wajcman pursues these questions. Drawing on a wealth of historical and contemporary material, she highlights the male bias in both the definition of technology and the way it is developed. Feminist theories of science and technology provide the starting-point for the book. The social factors that shape different technologies are examined, especially the way technology reflects gender divisions and inequalities. This analysis of the sexual politics of technology opens up fresh possibilities for feminist scholarship and action.
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