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Gender and Technology

Paperback
, 480 pages

26 halftones

ISBN:
9780801872594
September 2003
$36.00

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Gender and Technology

A Reader

For most of human experience, certainly of late, the artifacts of technological civilization have become closely associated with gender, sometimes for physiological reasons (brassieres or condoms, for example) but more often because of social and cultural factors, both obvious and obscure. Because these stereotypes necessarily have economic, social, and political consequences, understanding how gender shapes the ways we view and use technology—and how technology shapes our concept of gender—has emerged as a matter of serious scholarly importance. Gender and Technology brings together leading historians of technology to explore this entwined and reciprocal relationship, focusing on the tools (cars, typewriters, computers, vibrators), industries (dressmaking, steam laundering, cigar making, meat packing) and places (factories, offices, homes) of North America between 1850 and 1950. Together, these essays reveal the ways in which technology and gender—far from being essential, immutable categories—develop historically as social constructions.

Contributors: Patricia Cooper, University of Kentucky; Paul N. Edwards, University of Michigan; Wendy Gamber, Indiana University; Carolyn M. Goldstein, Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell, Massachusetts; Rebecca Herzig, Bates College; Roger Horowitz, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware; Ronald R. Kline, Cornell University; Jennifer Light, Northwestern University; Rachel P. Maines, Cornell University's Hotel School Library; Judith A. McGaw; Joy Parr, Simon Fraser University.

Nina E. Lerman is an associate professor of history at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Ruth Oldenziel is an associate professor at the University of Amsterdam. Arwen P. Mohun is an associate professor of history at the University of Delaware.

"The essays selected for this volume cover a well-distributed range of subjects, bringing history of technology and gender studies together with studies of consumerism, labor, production, race, and other topics. The pieces included are well-written, thought-provoking, and frequently just plain enjoyable. The collection will serve valuable scholarly purpose, helping both to establish where research on the relationship between gender and history of technology currently stands and to suggest promising directions for future work."

"This excellent anthology should become a standard source for those interested in the history of gender and technology, as well as a widely used text for courses in gender studies. The selection of articles is brilliant. The volume is grounded in the mature historical scholarship published in Technology and Culture, and significantly strengthened by the inclusion of key articles from other sources."