Computer Science, Gender and Knowledge: Situated Readings

Document type: Bookchapters
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Christina Björkman
Title: Computer Science, Gender and Knowledge: Situated Readings
Translated title: Datavetenskap, genus och kunskap: situerade läsningar
Book: How do we make a difference?
Year: 2003
Pagination: pp. 157-174
Editor: Christina Mörtberg, Pirjo Elovaara, Agneta Lundgren
ISBN: 91-972568-9-7
Publisher: Division Gender and Technology, Luleå University of Technology
City: Luleå
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: Department of Human Work Science, Media Technology and Humanities (Institutionen för arbetsvetenskap, medieteknik och humaniora)
Department of Human Work Science, Media Technology and Humanities, Box 520, 372 25 Ronneby
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail:
Language: English
Abstract: A text is read, interpreted and comprehended in different ways, depending on for example the perspectives of the reader. As a reader I take an active part in the creation of meaning when I interact with the text and so also, indirectly, with the author(s). In this paper I explore what I call situated readings, using the concept of partial perspectives in reading a text.
I will read a text on women and computer science, an article from Communications of the ACM 1997. This article has gained a lot of attention and is still frequently cited within the community of computer scientists.
This reading exercise reflects my own development, in that I explicitly try to make use of my background and experiences. I am a lecturer in computer science, and for a number of years I have been interested in questions and issues surrounding the under-representation of women within computer science and in the various different attempts to define, describe and suggest solutions to this ‘problem’. I have gone from taking part in, and actively leading, projects targeting women within CS, to an interest in trying to gain a complex understanding of this issue and challenging existing frameworks and explanations. The reading will reflect how my questions mainly concerning the low number of women in CS have evolved, as a result of experience and later from feminist studies, into other questions, approaching “the science question” (Harding 1986).
Subject: Technoscience Studies\General