Information Technology and Women’s Lives

Overview

More than 750 citations, some annotated, comprise this listing of sources on information technology and women’s lives. Entries include books, book chapters, periodical articles, and some dissertations and reports. The text may be retrieved either in its entirety (see: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FULL TEXT) or in several parts. The divisions are as follows:

GENERAL: includes the Introduction and the section on General resources.
COMPUTER SCIENCE AND EDUCATION: includes sections on women working or studying in the computerscience.html field as well as computers in K-12 and undergraduate education
EMPLOYMENT AND HEALTH: includes sections on general employment issues as well as sections more specifically on women’s manufacturing work on computer components, the impact of computers on office work, and health concerns with both manufacturing and office usage.
ONLINE USAGE/ELECTRONIC RESOURCES: the “Online” section concerns women’s use ofonline.html resources, while the “Electronic” section lists actual gopher or World Wide Web sites focusing on women and information technology.

The bibliography was published in both print and online versions by the Women’s Studies Librarian for the University of Wisconsin System, 430 Memorial Library, 728 State St., Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Our Web site is located at: http://womenst.library.wisc.edu.

The first bibliography our office compiled on “Women and Information Technology” (1984) was a mere nine pages, even with somewhat lengthy annotations. Getting a handle on current research and information on the topic is another matter, and I have attempted to be fairly comprehensive only on feminist perspectives on information technology. More than 750 listings are divided into groupings that in some cases overlap, but that help organize the material into larger concepts related to the topic. Women’s part in the manufacturing end of information technology, for instance, I view as a crucial piece of the whole picture. Women’s labor has been exploited here as well as in the “labor-saving” introduction of computer technology into the office. A section titled “Online” includes resources about women’s use of the Internet and online services, whereas I’ve separated actual items available electronically into their own grouping, and in some cases list various ways of accessing that material, including print versions.

The bibliography is necessarily selective. For the most part I have not included articles of one or two pages, particularly in popular magazines, as these seem seldom very substantive. Brief articles about particular topics, however, such as health, are sometimes included either because there is not that much available on the subject, or the article offers a unique perspective. Many items with dates before 1983 are also excluded. The definition of information technology itself is somewhat slippery, and I’ve generally limited items to technology having to do with production of “word-type” information, but such information-handling items as price scanners, manufacturing robots, and the like have clearly also had an impact on women’s work. Chapters in important books are often cited as well as the books themselves. Many works that offer broader perspectives on women’s relationship to science and technology are not generally included, largely because they are available through other excellent bibliographies, such as our office’s HISTORY OF WOMEN AND SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND TECHNOLOGY by Phyllis Holman Weisbard and Rima Apple (2nd ed. 1993) or WOMEN AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY by the WITS (Women, Information Technology, and Scholarship) Colloquium at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (see “Electronic Resources” section).

I viewed some items enough to supply a brief clarifying annotation; others I was either unable to actually examine or lacked time to retrieve and annotate. Most citations have been located or verified using a number of indexing services, such as CARL UnCover, Wilson indexes in education, generalscience.html, and the like, FEMINIST PERIODICALS: A CURRENT LISTING OF CONTENTS, WOMEN STUDIES ABSTRACTS, ERIC* resources, OCLC, and our campus and other available online university catalogs. Dissertations appear occasionally in instances where the authors have not yet published the material elsewhere.

Because this bibliography is available online, we will periodically update the computerized version. A revised edition of the print version may appear at some point as well, but there are no dates targeted for such a revision. Suggestions for additions to the bibliography are always welcome.

Linda Shult
Office of the University of Wisconsin System Women’s Studies Librarian
February 1996

* ERIC is a federally funded national information system on education. ERIC documents are deposited on paper or microfiche in many university libraries throughout the United States. They may also be purchased from the ERIC Documentation and Reproduction Service (EDRS) at 800-443- ERIC. (For further information about ERIC or to search the ERIC database and other components, open the URL: http://ericsyr.sunsite.edu).