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Feminist technoscience

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Title: Feminist technoscience  
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Subject: Feminism, Feminist theory, Karen Barad, Science studies, Feminist art movement
Collection: Feminism and Society, Science Studies
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Feminist technoscience

Feminist technoscience is a transdisciplinary field that emerged from decades of feminist critiques, and became an amalgamation(unite) of the study of feminism and science, technology and society (STS). It can also be referred to as feminist science studies, feminist cultural studies of science, feminist studies of science and technology, or technology, gender and science.

Feminist technoscience is inspired by social constructionist approaches to gender, sex, intersectionalities, society, science and technology. Feminist technoscience addresses among other issues gender questions regarding science and technology.[1][2][3]


  • History 1
  • Central questions 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


According to Judy Wajcman, the concept of technology has historically been bounded to women, their role as harvesters or caretakers of the domestic economy make them the first technologists, and the concealment of this fact is only a cultural strategy which strongly associates technology with masculinity. The “male machines” replaced the “female wits” as identifiers of modern technology when the engineering was considered as masculine profession.[4]

During the 1970s, the emerging feminist movement about ecofeminism and health considered science and technology as business opposed to the interests of women. In the 1980s, Sandra Harding proposed "the female question in science" to raise "the question of the science in feminism ', claiming that science is involved in projects that are not only neutral and objective, but that are strongly linked to male interests.[4] It emerged from feminist critiques of science, which have revealed the ways in which gender is entangled in natural, medical and technical sciences as well as in the sociotechnical networks and practices of a globalized world.[5]

Technofeminism emerged in the early 1980s, leaning on the different feminist movements. The feminist scholars reanalyzed the Scientific Revolution, and stated that the resulting science was based on the masculine ideology of exploiting the Earth and control. This depended on the use of the gender imagery to conceptualize the nature. In this period, which lasted until the end of the decade, feminist interest in science and technology studies were mostly grounded in the understanding of science and technology. Household technologies, new media, and new technosciences were, for the most part, disregarded.[6]

Today’s feminist critique often uses the former demonology of technology as a point of departure to tell a story of progress from liberal to postmodern feminism. According to Judy Wajcman, both liberal and Marxist feminist failed in the analysis of science and technology, because they considered the technology as neutral and did not pay attention to the symbolic dimension of technoscience.[4]

Central questions

Feminist technologies are ones that are formed from feminist social relations, but varied definitions and layers of feminism complicates the stuff. Deborah Johnson[7] proposes four candidates for feminist technologies:

  • Technologies that are simple enough for women to understand
  • Technologies that constitute gender-equitable social relations mainly for women
  • Technologies that favor women in that they are simple enough to be understood by women
  • Technologies that constitute social relations that are more equitable than those that were constituted by a prior technology or than those that prevail in the wider society because they can be understood by women
  • Technologies in general that women don't understand because they're women

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^


  • Emma Whelan The Canadian Journal of Sociology / Cahiers Canadiens de sociologie, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Autumn, 2001), pp. 535–581
  • Weber J (2006) From science and technology to feminist technoscience. In: Davis K, Evans M, Lorber J
  • (eds) Handbook of gender and women’s studies. SAGE, London, pp 397–414

External links

  • Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Need and Desire : Exploring Strategies for Gendering Design, Maja & Christina Mörtberg
  • Review of “Technofeminism” of Judy Wajcman, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spanish)
  • Norma (Nordic Journal for Masculinity Studies)
  • International Journal of Feminist Technoscience
  • Kvinder, Køn & Forskning
  • Tidsskrift för genusvetenskap
  • Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning
  • Centre for Gender and Women's Studies

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