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Programmed Inequality

Author: Marie Hicks
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262342944
Size: 60.55 MB
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In 1944, Britain led the world in electronic computing. By 1974, the British computer industry was all but extinct. What happened in the intervening thirty years holds lessons for all postindustrial superpowers. As Britain struggled to use technology to retain its global power, the nation's inability to manage its technical labor force hobbled its transition into the information age. In Programmed Inequality, Marie Hicks explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize. That failure sprang from the government's systematic neglect of its largest trained technical workforce simply because they were women. Women were a hidden engine of growth in high technology from World War II to the 1960s. As computing experienced a gender flip, becoming male-identified in the 1960s and 1970s, labor problems grew into structural ones and gender discrimination caused the nation's largest computer user -- the civil service and sprawling public sector -- to make decisions that were disastrous for the British computer industry and the nation as a whole.Drawing on recently opened government files, personal interviews, and the archives of major British computer companies, Programmed Inequality takes aim at the fiction of technological meritocracy.Hicks explains why, even today, possessing technical skill is not enough to ensure that women will rise to the top in science and technology fields. Programmed Inequality shows how the disappearance of women from the field had grave macroeconomic consequences for Britain, and why the United States risks repeating those errors in the twenty-first century.

Programmed Inequality

Author: Marie Hicks
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262035545
Size: 69.43 MB
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How Britain lost its early dominance in computing by systematically discriminating against its most qualified workers: women.

Programmed Inequality

Author: Marie Hicks
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN: 9780262535182
Size: 37.49 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
View: 1631
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In 1944, Britain led the world in electronic computing. By 1974, the British computer industry was all but extinct. Marie Hicks's Programmed inequality explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize. Women were a hidden engine of growth in high technology from World War II to the 1960s. As computing experienced a gender flip, becoming male-identified in the 1960s and 1970s, labor problems grew into structural ones, and gender discrimination caused the nation's largest computer user - the civil service and sprawling public sector -- to make decisions that were disastrous for the British computer industry and the nation as a whole. Programmed inequality shows how the disappearance of women from the field has grave macroeconomic consequences for Britain, and why the United States risks repeating those errors in the twenty-first century.

Recoding Gender

Author: Janet Abbate
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262304538
Size: 29.62 MB
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Today, women earn a relatively low percentage of computer science degrees and hold proportionately few technical computing jobs. Meanwhile, the stereotype of the male "computer geek" seems to be everywhere in popular culture. Few people know that women were a significant presence in the early decades of computing in both the United States and Britain. Indeed, programming in postwar years was considered woman's work (perhaps in contrast to the more manly task of building the computers themselves). In Recoding Gender, Janet Abbate explores the untold history of women in computer science and programming from the Second World War to the late twentieth century. Demonstrating how gender has shaped the culture of computing, she offers a valuable historical perspective on today's concerns over women's underrepresentation in the field. Abbate describes the experiences of women who worked with the earliest electronic digital computers: Colossus, the wartime codebreaking computer at Bletchley Park outside London, and the American ENIAC, developed to calculate ballistics. She examines postwar methods for recruiting programmers, and the 1960s redefinition of programming as the more masculine "software engineering." She describes the social and business innovations of two early software entrepreneurs, Elsie Shutt and Stephanie Shirley; and she examines the career paths of women in academic computer science. Abbate's account of the bold and creative strategies of women who loved computing work, excelled at it, and forged successful careers will provide inspiration for those working to change gendered computing culture.

Gender Codes

Author: Thomas J. Misa
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118035139
Size: 36.15 MB
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The computing profession faces a serious gender crisis. Today, fewer women enter computing than anytime in the past 25 years. This book provides an unprecedented look at the history of women and men in computing, detailing how the computing profession emerged and matured, and how the field became male coded. Women's experiences working in offices, education, libraries, programming, and government are examined for clues on how and where women succeeded—and where they struggled. It also provides a unique international dimension with studies examining the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, Norway, and Greece. Scholars in history, gender/women's studies, and science and technology studies, as well as department chairs and hiring directors will find this volume illuminating.

The Computer Boys Take Over

Author: Nathan L. Ensmenger
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262302829
Size: 75.41 MB
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This is a book about the computer revolution of the mid-twentieth century and the people who made it possible. Unlike most histories of computing, it is not a book about machines, inventors, or entrepreneurs. Instead, it tells the story of the vast but largely anonymous legions of computer specialists -- programmers, systems analysts, and other software developers -- who transformed the electronic computer from a scientific curiosity into the defining technology of the modern era. As the systems that they built became increasingly powerful and ubiquitous, these specialists became the focus of a series of critiques of the social and organizational impact of electronic computing. To many of their contemporaries, it seemed the "computer boys" were taking over, not just in the corporate setting, but also in government, politics, and society in general. In The Computer Boys Take Over, Nathan Ensmenger traces the rise to power of the computer expert in modern American society. His rich and nuanced portrayal of the men and women (a surprising number of the "computer boys" were, in fact, female) who built their careers around the novel technology of electronic computing explores issues of power, identity, and expertise that have only become more significant in our increasingly computerized society.In his recasting of the drama of the computer revolution through the eyes of its principle revolutionaries, Ensmenger reminds us that the computerization of modern society was not an inevitable process driven by impersonal technological or economic imperatives, but was rather a creative, contentious, and above all, fundamentally human development.

An Ordered Society

Author: Susan Dwyer Amussen
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231099790
Size: 18.88 MB
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The highly publicized obscenity trial of Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness (1928) is generally recognized as the crystallizing moment in the construction of a visible modern English lesbian culture, marking a great divide between innocence and deviance, private and public, New Woman and Modern Lesbian. Yet despite unreserved agreement on the importance of this cultural moment, previous studies often reductively distort our reading of the formation of early twentieth-century lesbian identity, either by neglecting to examine in detail the developments leading up to the ban or by framing events in too broad a context against other cultural phenomena. Fashioning Sapphism locates the novelist Radclyffe Hall and other prominent lesbians--including the pioneer in women's policing, Mary Allen, the artist Gluck, and the writer Bryher--within English modernity through the multiple sites of law, sexology, fashion, and literary and visual representation, thus tracing the emergence of a modern English lesbian subculture in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Drawing on extensive new archival research, the book interrogates anew a range of myths long accepted without question (and still in circulation) concerning, to cite only a few, the extent of homophobia in the 1920s, the strategic deployment of sexology against sexual minorities, and the rigidity of certain cultural codes to denote lesbianism in public culture.

Handling Digital Brains

Author: Morana Alač
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262015684
Size: 14.45 MB
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An analysis of how fMRI researchers actively involve their bodies--with hand movements in particular--in laboratory practice.

Punched Card Systems And The Early Information Explosion 1880 1945

Author: Lars Heide
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801891434
Size: 44.72 MB
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At a time when Internet use is closely tracked and social networking sites supply data for targeted advertising, Lars Heide presents the first academic study of the invention that fueled today's information revolution: the punched card. Early punched cards were first developed to process the United States census in 1890. They were soon used to calculate invoices and to issue pay slips. As demand for more sophisticated systems and reading machines increased in both the United States and Europe, punched cards were no longer a simple data-processing tool. Insurance companies, public utilities, businesses, and governments all used them to keep detailed records of their customers, competitors, employees, citizens, and enemies. The United States used punched-card registers in the late 1930s to pay roughly 21 million Americans their Social Security pensions; Vichy France used similar technologies in an attempt to mobilize an army against the occupying German forces; Germans in 1941 developed several punched-card registers to make the war effort more effective. Heide's analysis of these three major punched-card systems, as well as the impact of the invention on Great Britain, illustrates how industrial nations established administrative systems that enabled them to locate and control their citizens, for better or for worse. Heide's comparative study of the development of punched-card systems in the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany explores how different cultures collected personal and financial data and how they adapted to new technologies. He examines this history for both its business and technological implications in today's information-dependent society. "Punched-Card Systems in the Early Information Explosion, 1880-1945" will interest students and scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including the history of technology, computer science, business history, and management and organizational studies

Race On The Line

Author: Venus Green
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822383101
Size: 76.99 MB
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Race on the Line is the first book to address the convergence of race, gender, and technology in the telephone industry. Venus Green—a former Bell System employee and current labor historian—presents a hundred year history of telephone operators and their work processes, from the invention of the telephone in 1876 to the period immediately before the break-up of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1984. Green shows how, as technology changed from a manual process to a computerized one, sexual and racial stereotypes enabled management to manipulate both the workers and the workplace. More than a simple story of the impact of technology, Race on the Line combines oral history, personal experience, and archival research to weave a complicated history of how skill is constructed and how its meanings change within a rapidly expanding industry. Green discusses how women faced an environment where male union leaders displayed economic as well as gender biases and where racism served as a persistent system of division. Separated into chronological sections, the study moves from the early years when the Bell company gave both male and female workers opportunities to advance; to the era of the “white lady” image of the company, when African American women were excluded from the industry and feminist working-class consciousness among white women was consequently inhibited; to the computer era, a time when black women had waged a successful struggle to integrate the telephone operating system but faced technological displacement and unrewarding work. An important study of working-class American women during the twentieth century, this book will appeal to a wide audience, particularly students and scholars with interest in women’s history, labor history, African American history, the history of technology, and business history.