Deconstructing discursive borders: Conflicting discourses of femininity and techno-scientific rationality in the context of educational computing

Year: 2001

Author: Markwick, Katrina

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Women's participation in computer based industries is markedly gendered, as women form the majority of individuals employed in routinised, deskilled and lowly paid jobs. At the school level then, the underlying 'problem' of ‘girls and computing’ is not simply a matter of girls' participation in computer-related work, but the reproduction of a problematic relationship between the socially and politically informed categories of gender and technology. In this paper I initiate the deconstruction of some of the fundamental assumptions underlying the debates and research on educational computing at the secondary school level and problematise common conceptualisations of gender in both research and reform of school-based practice. This is then used as a basis for arguing an alternative direction for research that focuses on the dominant discourses of gender and technology, and centralises girls' agency in the reform process.