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Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing

Book Description

The computing profession faces a serious gender crisis. Today, fewer women enter computing than anytime in the past 25 years. This book provides an unprecedented look at the history of women and men in computing, detailing how the computing profession emerged and matured, and how the field became male coded. Women's experiences working in offices, education, libraries, programming, and government are examined for clues on how and where women succeeded—and where they struggled. It also provides a unique international dimension with studies examining the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, Norway, and Greece. Scholars in history, gender/women's studies, and science and technology studies, as well as department chairs and hiring directors will find this volume illuminating.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half title page
  3. Series page
  4. Title page
  5. Copyright page
  6. Dedication
  7. Foreword
  8. Preface
  9. Contributors
  10. Part I: Tools for Understanding
    1. 1 Gender Codes
      1. Defining the Problem
      2. FRAMING THE GENDER GAP
      3. STRATEGIES FOR REFORM
      4. HISTORY IN THE PRESENT
    2. 2 Computer Science
      1. The Incredible Shrinking Woman
      2. UNEXPLAINED DIFFERENCES
      3. STATUS OF WOMEN IN PROFESSIONAL LIFE
      4. CHANGING REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
      5. GROWTH OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AS A DISCIPLINE
      6. LEADERSHIP: WOMEN AT HIGHER LEVELS
      7. SUMMARY
      8. SOME POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS
      9. FUTURE RESEARCH QUESTIONS
      10. STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE
      11. CLOSING THOUGHTS
      12. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    3. 3 Masculinity and the Machine Man
      1. Gender in the History of Data Processing
      2. THE SEX TYPING OF DATA PROCESSING WORK
      3. DATA PROCESSING: BETWEEN OFFICE WORK AND MANAGEMENT
      4. THE GENDER POLITICS OF DATA PROCESSING
      5. DATA PROCESSING LABOR IN THE 1970S
      6. AFTER DATA PROCESSING: THE 1980S AND BEYOND
      7. IMPLICATIONS FOR WOMEN IN COMPUTING
  11. Part II: Institutional Life
    1. 4 A Gendered Job Carousel
      1. Employment Effects of Computer Automation
      2. AN UNLIKELY ALLIANCE: WOMEN AND PUNCH-CARD MACHINES
      3. PUNCH-CARD OPERATIONS—A TYPICAL FEMALE JOB
      4. A GENDERED JOB CAROUSEL: THE INTRODUCTION OF ELECTRONIC COMPUTERS
      5. NEW DRUDGE WORK IN THE ELECTRONIC AGE
      6. POSTWAR IDEAS ABOUT THE WORK OF WOMEN
      7. CONCLUSION
    2. 5 Meritocracy and Feminization in Conflict
      1. Computerization in the British Government
      2. GENDER AND HISTORICAL ANALYSIS
      3. THE BRITISH EXAMPLE
      4. FROM PREELECTRONIC TO ELECTRONIC COMPUTING
      5. ELECTRONIC COMPUTING WORK GETS AN UPGRADE
      6. PROGRAMMING AS A MANAGEMENT TOOL
      7. SHIFTING IDEALS IN A CRISIS-DRIVEN STATE
      8. INDIVIDUAL OPPORTUNITIES … INSTITUTIONAL CRISIS
      9. REVIVAL OF THE MANAGEMENT COMPUTER MEN
      10. THE PUBLIC FACE OF GOVERNMENT MERITOCRACY
      11. CONCLUSION
    3. 6 Making Programming Masculine
      1. IN THE BEGINNING WERE THE WOMEN …
      2. THE “BAD BOYS” OF PROGRAMMING
      3. PROFESSIONALIZATION = MASCULINIZATION
      4. CONCLUSION
    4. 7 Gender and Computing in the Push-Button Library
      1. GENDER AND STATUS DIVISIONS WITHIN LIBRARIANSHIP, 1950–1980
      2. LIBRARY TECHNOLOGY AND LIBRARY LABOR, 1980–1990
      3. CONCLUSION: FROM CATALOGING TO METADATA
  12. Part III: Media and Culture
    1. 8 Cultural Perceptions of Computers in Norway 1980–2007
      1. From “Anybody” Via “Male Experts” to “Everybody”
      2. THE PERSONAL COMPUTER
      3. DISCURSIVE LOGICS BEFORE 2000
      4. CHALLENGING THE HEGEMONIC DISCOURSE: RECONSTRUCTIONS AND NEW VOICES
      5. HOW CAN WE UNDERSTAND THE CHANGE?
    2. 9 Constructing Gender and Technology in Advertising Images
      1. Feminine and Masculine Computer Parts
      2. METHODOLOGY
      3. MEN ON THE PHONE
      4. THE KEYBOARD VERSUS THE MOUSE
      5. THE PRINTER VERSUS THE HARD DRIVE
      6. WOMEN ON THE SCREEN
      7. CONCLUSION
  13. Part IV: Women in Computing
    1. 10 The Pleasure Paradox
      1. Bridging the Gap Between Popular Images of Computing and Women’s Historical Experiences
      2. THE APPEAL AND PLEASURES OF COMPUTING: WOMEN’S STORIES
      3. IMAGE VERSUS EXPERIENCE: POLICY LESSONS
    2. 11 Programming Enterprise
      1. Women Entrepreneurs in Software and Computer Services
      2. WOMEN’S EMPLOYMENT IN LARGE IT ENTERPRISES
      3. ARGONAUT INFORMATION SYSTEMS
      4. GENTRY, INC.
      5. PHYLISS MURPHY AND ASSOCIATES
      6. ADAPSO AND NACCB
      7. CONCLUSION
    3. 12 Gender Codes
      1. Lessons from History
      2. WOMEN IN COMPUTING
      3. IMAGES OF GENDER AND COMPUTING
      4. SHADOWS OF STEREOTYPES
    4. 13 Gender Codes
      1. Prospects for Change
      2. POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS
      3. REVERSING CURRENT TRENDS
      4. INTRODUCING NEW IMAGES: APPROACHES TO CHANGE
      5. PATHS FROM THE PAST TO THE FUTURE
  14. Bibliography
  15. Index