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  1. 1. GENDER, TECHNOLOGY, AND REDEFINITION OF POWER RELATIONSHIP EMILIA NERCISSIANS Department of Anthropology, Social Sciences Faculty, University of Tehran, Iran enerciss@ut.ac.ir
  2. 2. AGENDA• UNESCO’S Strategies : Base of discussion• Gender and Technology : Relationship• Types of Universities : Historical Approach• Statistics• Comparative study : UT and AUA• Concluding Remarks
  3. 3. UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy 2002-2007 (31 C/4) UNESCO contributing to peace and human development in an era of globalization through education, the sciences, culture and communication Two Cross-Cutting Themes The contribution of information and Eradication of poverty, especially communication technologies to the extreme poverty development of education, science, culture and the construction of a knowledge society Three Main Strategic ThrustsDeveloping and promoting Promoting pluralism, Promotinguniversal principles and through recognition empowerment andnorms, based on shared and safeguarding of participation in thevalues, in order to meet diversity together with emerging knowledgeemerging challenges in the observance of human society througheducation, science, culture and rights. equitable access,communication and to protect capacity-building andand strengthen the "common sharing of knowledgepublic good".…and 12 Strategic Objectives and international development targets to be met
  4. 4. One can conclude:• Emancipation through Education• Awareness through Education• Liberation through Education• Breaking barriers through Education• Health through Education• Friendship through Education• Hope through Education• EMPOWERMENT THROGH EDUCATION
  5. 5. The relationship between gender and technologyTroubled and problematic Empowering and liberating• Technology as reproducing • Technology as liberating traditional gender power women from their relations; exclusion of constraints, endowing them women with powers they did not• have before Masculine cultural dominance of technology • Subverting the intended purposes of technology• Women as incapable of • The potential of technology using technology to challenge gender power• Women as passive users of relations technology • Reconstructing technology• Technology as constructed around women’s interests around men’s interests • Women and interpersonal communication technologies
  6. 6. Women and the InternetReproduction of masculine Empowerment and dominance liberationthe embeddedness of the Internet Cyberfeminism, believes that “womenwithin wider public discourses, weaving the web”: the capacity ofsocietal and economic power the networked organisation of therelation as Political economy World Wide Web to erode orInferior relationship;Flaming, trolling subvert the culture of masculineand online practices of sexual . dominanceharassment:the persistence of traditional Online spaces as “safe” spaces, aregender power relations and enabling women to evade domination in cyberspace unpleasant practicesQuestions on Women’s status indevelopmental contexts: what arethe consequences of women’s Post-modern approaches, towardsonline activity for the material cybertechnology is as enablingconditions of their lives? Have the experiment with a new sense these conditions changed or of self, gender-free and fluid;? remained disregarded reconfiguration of gender .categories
  7. 7. By the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs.• A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction. Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century," in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York; Routledge, 1991), pp.149-181.
  8. 8. Efforts to bridge the “Digital Divide” e-aspects  e-technology  e-industry  e-society To achieve an e-society of full Public actions e-readiness with Individual efforts citizens of advanced  literacy e-awareness network literacy.  media literacy e-infrastructure  computer literacy e-readiness  network literacy
  9. 9. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM• How the University of Tehran can promote the use of information technology, especially by its female students.
  10. 10. The university has to find solutionsbecause: it has to adapt to the global scale shifts associated with transition to cyberera it must adapt to rapid technology changes it must adapt to a more participatory and gender symmetric environment
  11. 11. • Electronic learning, and use of information technology and knowledge management techniques are important for maintaining the academic excellence and assuring the provision of quality education to its students.• They are also important because the university must respond to the changing needs and expectations of its stakeholders• It is especially important for the university to resolve the problem of technology utilization by both genders because it has to act as an agent for change in the broader polity
  12. 12. Moving From Atoms to Bytes Machine Computer Brain Mechanical Power Power to calculate Power to Think/Learn • Self-organized • Hierachies • Binary Thinking • Life-long learning • Cause-effect • Pre-programmed • Network based • Command and control • Speed & precision • Virtual + Real • Rengineering Interactions • Assembly line production, welfare state organizations • Strategic thinking • Risk ManagementMechanics Informatics Infonautics (navigation)Late 19th Century, first Second half of 20th Late 20th Century and first half 20th Century Century decade of 21st Century
  13. 13. Evolution of Universities as Part of Societal Transformation and Knowledge Transformation Agrarian Age Industrial Age Knowledge Age Local National International Global Medievalism Enlightenment Modernism Post-Modernism Transmodernism ( Post-Post-Modernism ) Universities Multiversities TransversitiesUniversity of Faith University of Reason University of Communication University of Consilience Integrative University 1650 Teaching 1850 Service 1950 Research Integrative ScholarshipCopernicus Kant Peirce Maxwell, Bohm WheatleyDescartes Darwin Wilbur Logical Hierarchical Holistic, Organic13th Century 18th Century 20th Century
  15. 15. UNEMPLOYMENT RATES; (urban and rural) Highest among young urban women
  16. 16. Women’s employment rate distributions High among mid-aged women with university education
  17. 17. University Admissions•
  18. 18. Applicants for University Entrance Examination 2006-2011Year Total # of Male Female Accepted Applicants % %2006 1343843 41.4 58.6 4100002007 1341629 35 65 5070002008 1335000 36 64 4370692009 1252000 37 62.7 5247692010 1286812 60 40 5180002011 138000 60.5 39.5 ___
  19. 19. Number of students
  20. 20. Teaching staff
  21. 21. University Staff Mail & Female Recent Statistics• Total number in Iran – 26714 Univ. Staff – 5714 Female 21.4% – 21000 Male 68.6%• University Staff in State Universities of Tehran – 4512 Univ. Staff – 743 Female 16.5% – 3769 Male 83.5%
  22. 22. Seven main obstacles which does not let the usage of ICT The 7Cs 1. Cost 2. Capacity 3. Content 4. Creativity 5. Culture 6. Conflict 7.Cenorship
  23. 23. conclusion• A two way learning process constitutes the main vision of this research.• Female students must overcome all difficulties (problem of 7 C’s Cost, Capacity, Content, Creativity, Culture, Conflict, Censorship) and learn alongside the male students, to use technology effectively.• The university as a learning organization, must learn from its female students to develop new ways of dealing with technology (disengendering technology utilization).
  24. 24. USE OF IT BY STUDENTS ATUT• Internet also used by male students more often than female students ( %62.5 male and %36.5 female students)• Female students send and receive emails, chat, and use Internet for purchasing and recreation more often than males;• Males, use the Internet mostly to get news or to search for matters of interest
  25. 25. GENDER, TECHNOLOGY, AND HIGHER EDUCATION AT AUA A smaller scale investigation, using the same methodology, was subsequently carried out for identifying the rate, purpose, and different usage techniques of the Internet by male and female students in the American University of Armenia The purpose was to identify those differences so as to try to enhance users’ Internet experiences.
  26. 26. • The investigation revealed that majority of the students of both genders enjoyed using computers and considered the cyberspace as effective means for passive as well as active participation in news groups and accessing enormous amount of electronic materials.• Female students were more careful about new things; they wanted to know more before trying; they were not too inclined towards innovation and wanted to do things as they had done before. Male students, on the other hand, considered themselves as more proficient in computers than females.• Students in Engineering and Business colleges were more proficient in computers than those of English and Political Science.• Students generally used the Internet as means for improving their social status, and their career opportunities, and becoming engaged in social networks.
  27. 27. ENGENDERED SMART ENVIRONMENTS Regeneration of masculinity and femininity in smart environments takes place both through ascription of gendered roles to technology users and direct engendering of smart devices themselves. A substantive approach on the future of technology in society must be shaped not just by what the technologies can offer, but must also take into account factors influencing popular attitudes and propensities towards utilization of available technologies. Context awareness has been argued to be an important factor in endowing smart environments with communicative and cultural competences necessary for quick adoption of ambient intelligent technologies especially where solidarity oriented ideologies predominate.
  28. 28. • Ambient Intelligence refers to a vision of the future knowledge based society where intelligent interfaces enable people and devices to interact with each other and with the environment.• The prevalence of cognitivist attitudes towards intelligence, however, pose a major problem hindering the progress of technologies related to intelligent systems and devices.• With the advent of computational intelligence and the associated philosophies of connectionism and situated action, attention has shifted towards more biomotivated, embodied and collectivist views of intelligence.
  29. 29. • Too much cognitive intelligence and too little communicative and cultural competence will make the device utilization hard and unpleasant.• It is very important in the case of sociotechnical systems to determine who will control their actions and who will benefit from the provision of their services.• Networking for change is important not only for responding to the rapid shifts in our surroundings and taking advantage of the opportunities created by the technology via exchanging our theoretical findings and practical experiences, but also shaping the future path of technological progress and modes of its utilization.
  30. 30. • It can be argued that the networking approaches, in any learning organization, are best suited for the contemporary needs of the academia in a rapidly changing world.• From a system point of view the network can be viewed as an evolving autopoetic system.• Recent developments in distributed artificial intelligence and the convergence of new technologies from telecommunications, distributed computing, multimedia, and databases now make possible a network of diverse but interconnected educational and learning entities
  31. 31. enerciss@ut.ac.ir