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Feminism and Constructivism: Do Artifacts Have Gender?

Anne-Jorunn Berg and Merete Lie
Science, Technology, & Human Values
Vol. 20, No. 3, Special Issue: Feminist and Constructivist Perspectives on New Technology (Summer, 1995), pp. 332-351
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/690019
Page Count: 20
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Feminism and Constructivism: Do Artifacts Have Gender?
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Abstract

This article explores possibilities for establishing dialogues between feminism and constructivism in the field of technology studies. Based on an overview of Norwegian feminist debates about technology, it indicates several points where feminism and constructivism meet and can mutually benefit from each other. The article critically examines feminist studies questioning the problems of technological determinism, social determinism, and essentialism. It criticizes constructivism for a lack of concern for gender and politics but holds that it is still possible to use theoretical tools from constructivism in feminist analyses. Fruitful dialogues require the application of the principle of symmetry to the dialogues and sharing some common ground and mutual recognition of each other's strengths and weaknesses.

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