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Midterm Evaluation

2009 March 6
by Guinevere

NB: I apologize for writing this as a post, but I have an original image that I couldn’t put in a comment.

1) I think I’m still really stuck back on the first topic, ‘technologies of gender.’ I see a strong causal relationship between technology and gender; the processes by which our use of different technologies genders us makes sense to me. I’m still struggling, however, with how we (where most of us are gendered individuals) can be gendering technology.

I guess I see the entire process by which technology genders us (from the first section of the class) as one big circle of implications. We (individually and collectively) have certain conceptions of gender that we apply to how we use technology which in turn reinforces our conceptions of gender. My point here is that everything comes full circle.  As my diagram illustrates, I understand that we can ‘cut’ the circle in the ‘conceptions of gender’ side.  In this way, we can say that we start with our conceptions of gender which lead to the rest.  What I don’t understand is how our gendered use of technology stands on its own to influence our conceptions of gender.  That is, I don’t think we can cut the circle on the ‘use of technology side,’ because I don’t think we can think of our use of technology as being independent from our conceptions of gender, whereas I do think we can think of our conceptions of gender without considering our use of technology.

2) I do know that there can be some very large disparities between how one gendered individual or group uses technology versus another. I think almost every group in the last three panels about collective genderings of technology was punctuated by a division along gender lines. I also understand most of what we tried to do with applying theory to the stories of the individual and collective panel participants.

3+4) I’m still wondering how we take this out of the classroom and into the non-academic arenas. I really appreciated Rebecca’s post suggesting we attempt to balance our discussions of labels between the abstract and the concrete. I think we can definitely work to relate our discussions back to how we go forward in our daily lives. I began the semester contemplating how personal this journey would be for me. The first part of the class certainly was, but I feel now that we’ve moved into a very analytical, attempting-to-be-objective, super-academic approach to our discussions. That isn’t necessarily the worst thing we could be doing, but I’d like to revitalize my own efforts to connect more personally with our discussions, get a little messy and be subjective, and figure out how to relate academia to non-academia. It would be nice in our class discussions, large and small, if we occasionally took a step back and said “OK, what does this mean when we walk out of here at 4 pm?”

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