ICTs and inequality: Net gains for women?

Judy Wajcman

in The Oxford Handbook of Information and Communication Technologies

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199548798
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

ICTs and inequality: Net gains for women?

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  • Business and Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Business Ethics



This article considers the gender relations of ICTs, canvassing both pessimistic and optimistic perspectives. Drawing on the social studies of technology, it argues that ideas about and practices of gender inform the design, production, and use of ICTs, and that, in turn, technical artefacts and culture are integral to the formation of gender identity. Technologies embody and advance political interests and agendas and they are the product of social structure, culture, values, and politics as much as the result of objective scientific discovery. While new ICTs can be constitutive of new gender dynamics, they can also be derivative of and reflect older patterns of gender inequality. The article argues that social science needs to continually engage with the process of technological change, as it is a key aspect of gender power relations.

Keywords: ICTs; social studies; gender identity; social structure; social science; technological change; power relations

Article.  8460 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Knowledge Management ; Business Ethics

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