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Being an ’it’ in IT : gendered identities in IT work

By AE Adam, M Griffiths, C Keogh, K Moore, H Richardson and AL Tattersall

Abstract

This paper reflects on aspects of gender and IT work. The core hypothesis is that, if technical skill and masculinity are fundamentally related, then women working in IT jobs who are, in effect, challenging masculine skills by gaining them themselves, must develop a number of strategies to cope with the challenge that they feel is being made to their own gender identities and those of the men with whom they work. One strategy is for women to distance themselves from IT work; a second strategy is for women to distance themselves from their identities as women. Our results are drawn from a set of semi-structured interviews. We adopt the approach of critical research that seeks to expose asymmetric power relations in the organization and to let silenced voices be heard. This is related to the literature on silence in organizations. Within the critical approach, we chose a feminist methodology that looks towards identifying practices that are problematic for women and that acknowledges our biases and interests as researchers. Additionally, we draw upon the theoretical constructs of the gender and technology literature to theorize the relationship between gender and technical skill and how this impacts conceptions of gender identity

Topics: HQ, QA75, other
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:usir.salford.ac.uk:862
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