Alli Travis
AmSt 522 Research Proposal
Research Questions
 What social, cultural and economic factors
inhibit or create possibilities for computer
access by you...
Sub-Questions
 I came up with a number of sub-questions
stemming from my two main research
questions:
 What opportunitie...
Sub-Questions Cont.
 How is women’s access to the computer
VALUED….what types of access (or lack
of access) have they had...
Partnerships
 Will pursue a relationship with other Idaho
organizations that might be interested in helping
enhance and c...
Methodologies
 Survey
 Face to face interviews (75)
 Focus groups of 10-15
Survey
 Three groups
 High school seniors
 Idaho State Department of Education for
permission and location assignments
...
Survey College Map
Survey
 Question Types
 General background questions (gender,
income, education)
 Exposure to technology throughout you...
Face to Face Interviews
 Approximately 50 interviews
 Young professionals ages 24-30 and
their superiors
 Background qu...
Focus Groups
 Groups of 10-15 individuals
 High school seniors, college
upperclassmen, young professionals
 Personal fe...
Literature Review
AAUW Educational Foundation, First. Tech-Savvy:Educating Girls in the New
Computer Age . Washington, D.C...
Literature Review Cont.
Blum, Lenore, and Carole Frieze. “The Evolving Culture of Computing.” Frontiers: A
Journal of Wome...
Literature Review Cont.
Farmer, Lesley. Teen Girls and Technology: What’s the Problem, What's the
Solution?. Chicago, IL: ...
Literature Review Cont.
"Girls email their way into male internet culture." Times higher education
supplement. (1999): 6.....
Literature Review Cont.
Jensen, Jennifer, Suzanne de Castell, and Mary Bryson. ““Girl Talk”: gender, equity
and identity d...
Literature Review Cont.
Kelan, Elisabeth. Performing Gender at Work. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan,
2009.
“The advent o...
Literature Review Cont.
Miller, Paige, R. Sooryamoorthy, Meredith Anderson, Anthony Palackal, Wesley
Schrum. “Gender and S...
Literature Review Cont.
Sadker, David, Myra Sadker, and Karen Zittleman. Still Failing at Fairness: How Gender Bias
Cheats...
Literature Review Cont.
Wajcman, Judy. TechnoFeminism. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2004.
This book claims technoscientific a...
Ties to Class Themes & Discussions
 New Media
 Characteristics of ‘networks’ and how that impacts
they way we live our l...
Ties to Class Themes & Discussions
Cont.
 Networking the World
 Globalization and information sharing
 Information Plea...
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Amst 522 research proposal

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Amst 522 research proposal

  1. 1. Alli Travis AmSt 522 Research Proposal
  2. 2. Research Questions  What social, cultural and economic factors inhibit or create possibilities for computer access by young women in southern Idaho and how does this affect the development of their future careers in technology related fields?  What is the male to female ratio of Idaho students pursuing careers in IT and computer science and how can any large gap between genders be explained?
  3. 3. Sub-Questions  I came up with a number of sub-questions stemming from my two main research questions:  What opportunities do women have for access to computers?  What are the family ‘norms’ surrounding children/teen computer use, and how does this differ between genders?  How does the Idaho school system delegate computer access and the types of programs being used by students?  What emphasis are being placed on math and science in the school system? Are males being led towards these disciplines more than females?
  4. 4. Sub-Questions Cont.  How is women’s access to the computer VALUED….what types of access (or lack of access) have they had to technology in the past?  What are the social/cultural structures surrounding females and their use of the computer?  How do women view their circumstances relating to technology? Do they feel privileged or oppressed?  What are women interested in studying?
  5. 5. Partnerships  Will pursue a relationship with other Idaho organizations that might be interested in helping enhance and conduct the study:  Girls in Tech, Boise sector  “Girls in Tech is focused on the engagement, education, and empowerment of like-minded, professional, intelligent and influential women in technology working on the collaboration, promotion, growth, and success of women in the technology sector.”  Idaho Technology Council  Connects, informs and promotes tech companies in Idaho and seeks to foster the growth of technology companies in the state
  6. 6. Methodologies  Survey  Face to face interviews (75)  Focus groups of 10-15
  7. 7. Survey  Three groups  High school seniors  Idaho State Department of Education for permission and location assignments  College upperclassmen  Available colleges: College of S. Idaho, Boise State, Idaho State, Northwest Nazarene University, College of Idaho  Young professionals ages 24-30  Approximately 200 surveys from each group
  8. 8. Survey College Map
  9. 9. Survey  Question Types  General background questions (gender, income, education)  Exposure to technology throughout youth  Opportunities for use and skill development o In school and in the home o Comfort level with media technology skills o Identify reasons for lack of computer exposure, if any  Social norms surrounding use and consumption
  10. 10. Face to Face Interviews  Approximately 50 interviews  Young professionals ages 24-30 and their superiors  Background questions:  Find out how they ended up where they are at, why they chose to work there, what type of education they had  More computer specific questions regarding:  Exposure, access and usage  Societal norms, company norms  Career growth opportunities  Empowerment
  11. 11. Focus Groups  Groups of 10-15 individuals  High school seniors, college upperclassmen, young professionals  Personal feelings and cultural norms surrounding computer usage  Social structures  Exposure throughout different life phases  Home, school, work  Encouragement/discouragement of computer access  Technology use  Personal interests in computers (why or why not)  Difference of interests between genders and
  12. 12. Literature Review AAUW Educational Foundation, First. Tech-Savvy:Educating Girls in the New Computer Age . Washington, D.C.: American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, 2000. This book recognizes that computers are now part of the everyday classroom and seeks to understand how they can be used to enhance teaching and learning in ways that promote female involvement. The main themes of the book address the reservations girls have about the computer culture, the concerns teachers having using technology in the classroom, and causes for concern in regards to female’s current participation in the computer realm through the lenses of education, economics and culture. This book will serve as a great starting point for my research to gain some background on classroom culture surrounding women and computers and to understand where (on a broad scale) women lie in the computer participation spectrum. Battey, Daniel, et al. “Professional Development for Teachers on Gender Equity in the Sciences: Initiating the Conversation.” Teachers College Record 109.1 (2007): 221-243. America: History & Life. EBSCO. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. This article examines a study conducted during 1993-2001 which showed that professional development projects for schoolteachers fell short of effectively addressing gender inequity in the classroom, particularly in relation to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. What seemed to be significantly lacking from teachers in their ability to present technical content to girls effectively. Understanding how the school system prevents females from obtaining the same type of exposure to technology as men receive will be helpful in examining how this affects women throughout their education and careers.
  13. 13. Literature Review Cont. Blum, Lenore, and Carole Frieze. “The Evolving Culture of Computing.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 26.1 (2005): 110-115. America: History & Life. EBSCO. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. The authors of this article state that “most students of gender and computer science have been conducted in gender-imbalanced environments.” To combat this, researchers make suggestions to help close these significant gender differences. One such method of heightening the female interest in computers and technology described in the article saw the number of women entering computer science majors at Carnegie Mellon increase nearly fivefold in only four years. Understanding what types of programs draw females to become more interested in computers will help us to understand what qualities of current educational and social systems are lacking that keep women from further exposure to computers. Dunbar-Hester, Christina. “Beyond “Dudecore”? Challenging Gendered and “Raced” Technologies Through Media Activism.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 54:1 (2010): 121-135. This article follows a group of media activists whose work foregrounds communication technologies and technical practice. These activists attempt to transform the media system by broadening access to technology and skills, with the intent for technological engagement to be compatible with a range of social identities. Specifically, they promote hands-on work with technology and technological competence, which, as they claim, has evidently been shaped by social structures that contribute to differences in familiarity and comfort with
  14. 14. Literature Review Cont. Farmer, Lesley. Teen Girls and Technology: What’s the Problem, What's the Solution?. Chicago, IL: American Library Assocation, 2008 In this book, Lesley Farmer examines the disconnect that many girls have with technology and then tackles the almighty question of: how do we kick-start girls’ involvement with technology? By providing a framework that teachers and parents can use to “empower girls to succeed in today’s technology-rich world”, Farmer hopes to supply real-world techniques that actually work. She highlights several after-school and fun learning activities that have been shown to increase young women’s confidence and promote their interests in technology. This information should be quite relevant in regards to analyzing the programs that might be found within current school systems and looking at the ways they work to promote female computer usage. Fenwick, Tara. "What happens to the girls? gender, work and learning in Canada's 'new economy' 1." Gender & Education 16.2 (2004): 169-185. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 17 Nov. 2010. This article studies the gender inequalities that exist in both access to and experience of learning opportunities in Canada’s ‘New Economy’ that promotes equal knowledge and work related learning opportunities. More relevant to this study is the discussion on current provision for girls’ vocational education and the gendered issues they face entering the labor market, including the ways in which
  15. 15. Literature Review Cont. "Girls email their way into male internet culture." Times higher education supplement. (1999): 6.. This short article describes the results of research done at Sheffield and Loughborough universities regarding internet use in rural and urban schools. The study claims that schools emphasizg the communicative aspects of information technology are likely to attract more girls than those who do not. “Girls are much more likely to be attracted to email than boys and can become interested in computer programming from there.” With this increased interest in computers, females are beginning to challenge the masculine stereotypes surrounding IT. Imhanlahimi, E. O., and F. E. Eloebhose. "Problems and Prospects of Women Access to Science and Technology Education in Nigeria." College Student Journal 40.3 (2006): 583-587. Humanities International Index. EBSCO. Web. 17 Nov. 2010. This article highlights the importance of science and technology in the development of nations by analyzing real life circumstances in Nigeria. In this study, researchers found that Nigeria cannot achieve scientific and technological growth without the full participation of women. Although historically women have been held back in accessing technology, new trends are calling for the importance of female participation in nation building to be recognized. Now, the
  16. 16. Literature Review Cont. Jensen, Jennifer, Suzanne de Castell, and Mary Bryson. ““Girl Talk”: gender, equity and identity discourses in a school-based computer culture.” Women’s Studies International Forum 26:6 (2003): 561-573. This article discusses a feminist intervention project in Canada focused on giving females more equitable access to and use of computers. This project, conducted at Brookwood Elementary School, allowed for the female students to develop and experience new identities as technology ‘experts’ within their school. This resulted in not only a significant increase in the participants knowledge of technology, but also resulted in a shift in the way they talked about and voiced their own gender identities with their teachers and peers. By the end of the experience, participants had become more vocal about what they saw as gender- biased practices conducted in the classroom and throughout the school. Their new willingness to stand up against these inequitable practices ultimately created “a more supportive climate for the advancement of gender equity beyond the confines of its computer labs.” By no means do the authors claim to have found a ‘cure’ or ‘prescription for change’ regarding gender-biased school practices, however, they identify the need for an understanding of the resiliency of this standard and suggest one way of beginning to break down the traditional walls that have been upheld for generations.
  17. 17. Literature Review Cont. Kelan, Elisabeth. Performing Gender at Work. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. “The advent of new technologies is aid to change the world of work dramatically. But is gender changing as well?” This book is a fresh perspective on the rapidly changing relationship between gender and technology, which is constantly shifting in regards to changing demographics, employee expectations and business needs. Put together based on a research study of two companies in Switzerland, the book challenges the reader to “think about the ways in which the evolving economy shapes new gender inequities”, particularly within ICT work. This book will have some great insight regarding new ways of thinking about how gender is seen at work and how gender is done in contemporary high-tech fields. Lupart, Judy, and Elizabeth Cannon. "Computers and Career Choices: Gender Differences in Grades 7 and 10 Students." Gender Technology and Development 6.2 (2002): 233-248. Web. 17 Nov 2010. This article looks into research that investigates the relationships between school culture, socialization, ability, gender and values and the relative degree of influence on adolescent student choice in courses, programs, and activities (particularly related to math and science). By investigating this relationship, the authors hope to understand why there is increasing evidence that there will not be enough people with the necessary math and science expertise to keep up with the ever-growing technologies of the world. The article then focuses on gender, by grade, to compare several questions that pertain to computer interest and usage and student choices concerning desirable career characteristics/future careers. This will be useful to compare the career interests of girls in comparison to those of males and evaluate what career qualities girls find appealing.
  18. 18. Literature Review Cont. Miller, Paige, R. Sooryamoorthy, Meredith Anderson, Anthony Palackal, Wesley Schrum. “Gender and Science in Developing Areas: Has the Internet Reduced Inequality?” Social Science Quarterly 87 (2006): 679-689. This paper examines the impact of the Internet and the research careers of female scientists in three developing areas: Ghana, Kenya and Kerala, India. Findings show that women are less likely to acquire advanced degrees, and are more likely to experience “localism” in the educational and organizational realm. This idea of localism places constraints on physical mobility which creates career differentials between male and female professionals. Even though education and Internet access has increased dramatically in these areas, without removing the communication restraints caused by localism, women will still be held back in progressing their careers forward. Palackal, Anthony. "Gender Stratification and E-Science: Can the Internet Circumvent Patrifocality?." New Infrastructure for Knowledge Production: Understanding E-Science. 'Ed'. Christine Hine. Hershey: Idea Group Publishing, 2006. This study investigates the degree to which the internet affects the constraints on women pursuing scientific careers in the developing world. The authors address this question by studying the way information and communication technologies shape gender roles amongst professional scientists in India. After assessing the extent to which women scientists have gained access to e-science technologies, the authors conclude that internet connectivity is helping women scientists to “circumvent, but not yet undermine, the patrifocal social structure that reduces social capital and impedes career development.”
  19. 19. Literature Review Cont. Sadker, David, Myra Sadker, and Karen Zittleman. Still Failing at Fairness: How Gender Bias Cheats Girls and Boys in School and What We Can Do About It. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2009. These authors work together to provide an in-depth look at how both the male and female educations are compromised from elementary school through college. School practices, the authors claim, send boys and girls down different life paths and often inhibit each gender from pursuing certain lines of study. Teaching methods, current testing practices, and subtle cultural attitudes are all major players that inhibit both genders of every race, class and ethnicity from receiving the same types of education influences. Taking a look at this information can help us to gain a better understanding of where the inequalities stem from and the kinds of treatment females receive that could inhibit them from getting the access to technology that would put them on a equal playing field with males. Shrum, Wesley and Meredith Anderson. “Circumvention and Social Change: ICTs and the Discourse of Empowerment.” Women’s Studies in Communication 30:2 (2007): 229-253. In this essay, the authors use 10 years of experience gained while conducting research in south India to present a theoretical interpretation of the impact of information and communication technologies in the country. It dives into the social implications of the specific relationship between gender inequity and information and communication technologies, “under conditions of patrifocality that characterize the Indian subcontinent.” After taking into account the differences between the western definition of female empowerment versus the type of empowerment available to women in less developed countries, the authors provide a general comparison between the lives of women in India and those in western countries with regards to technology. Taking their very different social structures into account, they look to interpret the impact of these technologies on local practices of gender stratification.
  20. 20. Literature Review Cont. Wajcman, Judy. TechnoFeminism. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2004. This book claims technoscientific advances are overhauling the relationship between women and machines. But instead arguing that the technologies themselves are the cause of this shift, the author argues that feminist politics are what is really making the difference. “Drawing on new perspectives in postmodern feminist theory and science and technology studies, the author explores the ways in which technologies are gendered both in design and in use.” From that, she is able to combine the concepts of ‘cyberfeminism’ with the gendered politics surrounding technology. Yelland, Nicole and Andee Rubin, eds. Ghosts in the Machine: Women's Voices in Research with Technology. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing, 2002. Print. Written by women in four countries on three continents, Ghosts and the Machine examines the relationship between gender and ICT and discusses the “educational, social, artistic, and political implications of a feminine voice in the design of technology.” It dives into the gendering of technology, exploring the social context of the Internet, computer games, computer based designs and digital art in an attempt to make women’s role in these technologies heard. In what is sure to provide many interesting insights, this book will have a lot to offer discussions on the feminization of technology and the gendering of IT.
  21. 21. Ties to Class Themes & Discussions  New Media  Characteristics of ‘networks’ and how that impacts they way we live our lives and the economic organizations of society  How media technology interacts with notions of power and control  Medias ability to transform cultures and our positions within these cultures  Socio-economic factors inhibiting/constraining the consumption of media technology
  22. 22. Ties to Class Themes & Discussions Cont.  Networking the World  Globalization and information sharing  Information Please  “Global space of the network”  Redefining the subjects and space and power flows between them

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