Postmodern Femenism

Postmodern Femenism

Clancy Ratliff (University of Minnesota, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch160
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Abstract

Since the 1970s, researchers have been using gender as an analytic category to study information technology (IT). In the decades since then, several questions have been raised on an ongoing basis, such as: How is gender constituted and reproduced in electronic spaces? Can the Internet be a place where there is no gender, a place where gender becomes fluid and malleable? How are identity and the politics of identity constructed online? Some scholars studying these questions have relied on feminist standpoint theory to frame and inform their inquiries into these issues, which foregrounds the differences between men’s and women’s experiences in electronic spaces and computing in general. However, others, particularly throughout the 1990s, have found postmodern feminist theory to be not only more accurate for explaining the actual practices of electronic communication and behavior, but also more conducive to the achievement of feminist political goals. The sections that follow will explain the general principles of postmodern feminist theory and its use in studies of gender and computer-mediated communication.

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