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Notes Toward Day 11: From Individuals to Groups

Class Keeping

Let’s talk about the technology.

Technology… is a queer thing.  It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.” ~C.P. Snow, New York Times, 15 March 1971

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” ~Arthur C. Clarke

The Gifts:


The distinguishable from magic:

  • Google docs
  • Clunky aspects of blog–what’s hard for you

Novel/Film Post Break (see syllabus for more info)

  • Metropolis–on reserve in BMC library; they have several copies (or you can rent or buy digitally from Amazon)
  • Handmaid’s Tale (Novel)–copies will be available in the bookstore later this week
  • Handmaid’s Tale (Film)–on reserve at BMC (need to check on this)
  • Watchmen (graphic novel)–checking into ordering from bookstore

You should start reading A Handmaid’s Tale over break as it’s a dense book to get through. We’ll discuss Metropolis on the Monday after break and begin our discussion of Handmaid’s Tale on Wednesday, continuing through the following Monday.  Wednesday, you need to be prepared to discuss the film of HT.  Ideally, you will be able to read the novel and then watch the film as we want to discuss the distinct experiences of each form.  The Watchmen discussion will take place the following Monday and Wednesday.

Where I was this weekend

I was at Northern Voice, a blogging and social media conference in Vancouver.  I will talk and write more about the conference soon; I spontaneously gave a talk–really facilitated a discussion–on gender and blogging.  One of the most interesting things I saw was Nancy White make these beautiful drawings during some of the talks, including my own (we were co-presenters).  Anne liked the idea so much, she’s going to try it during our discussion today.

Introductions: Nat–>Aline–>Melinda–>ZY–>Sarah–>Nat

Questions for our panelists:

Note: I’d like as much as possible for the panelists to talk to each other.  As anthropologists, you should have more common ground than as individual representatives.

Maddie said:

“I believe it to be 100% true that in general, people in the western world see the gender issues as detached for the most part from others around the world.”

I see groups that probably are southern hemispheric in origin and northern hemispheric and I’m wondering what the differences are between those groups in terms of gender and technology.  Are there issues in common? What is the relationship between these groups?

1. What’s the most surprising thing you discovered about your group? Why did you find it surprising?

2. Many of you researched women in particular jobs/careers.  What effect did gender have in these workplaces?  What role did technology play in that effect?

3. What is the gender makeup of the group you studied? Mostly male? Mostly female? Open to other gender representations?

4. How do the people within your group tend to represent their gender? Do they present themselves stereotypically, conforming to the norms? Or do they break the norms in this regard? Why do they present themselves this way?

5. Was technology generally an empowering force for the groups you studied or disempowering?