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Bringing Gender into Technology:A Case Study in User-Interface-Design and the Perspective of Gender Experts

Brigitte Ratzer, Astrid Weisse, Barbara Weixelbaumer, Nicole Mirnig, Manfred Tscheligi, David Raneburger, Roman Popp, Jürgen Falb

Abstract


Including gender knowledge in SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) research is increasingly seen as a means to create new knowledge and technology. This paper describes interactions, problems and strategies developed in research projects where an external gender expert introduces gender knowledge to a SET research team. The central task of gender experts here is informing researchers who have no or little previous gender knowledge. Based on the experiences of six gender experts who have been working in various SET projects, the realities, possibilities and limitations of gender knowledge transfer are explored. Four distinct topics were stressed by all experts, namely the process of mutual learning, problems with the credibility of gender knowledge, the importance of changes in as well the organisational context as the working cultures and the smallness of the adaptations that actually were achieved within the projects. I will conclude with reflections of what needs to be secured to make Gender into Technology an emancipatory project. My reflections are based on the theoretical debates in the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Feminist Technology Studies.


Keywords


gendered innovations; gender experts; knowledge transfer;

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