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7_sociologies - 21A.340J/STS.075J Technology and Culture...

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21A.340J/STS.075J Technology and Culture Professor Stefan Helmreich Lecture 7: Sociologies of Computing THEME 2: COMPUTERS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES How have computers and information technologies changed the ways we think about ourselves? What IS a computer? Our Machines, Ourselves: Computers, Subjectivity, Politics Edwards, Paul N. 1990. The Army and the Microworld: Computers and the Politics of Gender Identity. Signs 16(1): (pp. 102-127). In this article, from 1990, Edwards links the cultural construction of masculinity, computer science, and militarism in the U.S. We want to think about HOW he builds this argument. What does Edwards mean when he says “computers are a medium for thought” (p. 105)? Now, WHY has computing become a male world, according to Edwards? What does GENDER have to do with it? SEX/GENDER/TECHNOLOGY Turkle’s hard mastery versus soft mastery (rule bound programming vs. impressionistic) What has the role of the U.S. military been in the ways people think about computers (this is the closed world argument)? Edwards says there have been
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