A techno-feminist view on the Open Source Software development

Lin, Y.W 2006, 'A techno-feminist view on the Open Source Software development' , in: Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology , Idea Group Inc., pp. 1148-1153.

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In this article, I discuss the potential of Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) for empowering women and minority users in computing, and how the current status of women and minority users in the FLOSS development can be improved through engaging in the process of the FLOSS development. Though taking a "techno-feminist" perspective (Wajcman 2004), I am not going to reduce the complex gender issues emerging within and across the FLOSS community to a numeric question, i.e. how few women in the FLOSS community. Also, I do not consider the question as a battle between men and women. Staying away from such dichotomies, the issues I attempt to address include not only the inequality that women face in computing, but also other inequalities end users face that usually emerge from the power relationships between expert and lay (namely, developer and user) in software design. Instead of splitting women and men in the FLOSS development, this analysis helps motivate both men and women to work together, reduce the gender gap, and improve the disadvantaged statuses of women and a wider users community in the FLOSS development. I also provide three examples on how both women and men are encouraged to become mobile grassroots IT workers who support organisations and individuals with advises on technology with non-technical lay language, rather than completing technical tasks such as bugs fixing.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Trauth, Eileen
Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Publisher: Idea Group Inc.
Refereed: Yes
Depositing User: Dr. Yu-Wei Lin
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2011 11:03
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 11:04
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/12968

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