Friday, March 11, 2005

Workforce correlations stronger?

I think Losh on "Gender, educational and occupational gaps" really was on the right track when she concluded that what we are seeing in any gender divide among computer users is directly related to the "historical stratification" if a gender-biased workforce. Think about the groups of gendered professions (unfortunately still persisting): nursing, public teaching, child care, skilled manufacturing, service industries, etc. and what the likelihood of those folks having a strongly computer-mediated worklife? More often, they are on their feet, actively doing, rather than behind a desk. What do you think the data would look like if computer access was broken down by workforce group that would disregard gender?


  1. I think you are right but at the same time the article confused me a bit on the link between education/ occupation and IT use. In the intro the author mentioned the high percentage of degrees handed out to women every year yet in the conclusion stated "Women or the poorly educated have increased their computer and Internet use . . [but the educated men have increased access even more]." It just seems that the idea of occupation and education are becoming conflated. Perhaps higher education doesn't lead to increased IT use but rather the choice of occupation that they pursue.

  2. I have to say that our own selected profession in libraries could be thought of as a “woman’s field” but computers, on-line databases, electronic resources are all very important parts of a functioning library today. I work in a library where there are only two full time male employees, but we’re all on-line. I think this makes the argument that it’s the type of job and not the gender-bias in the job that makes the difference. Maybe it’s this imagined (or real?) societal job structure that males and females still migrate towards. Maybe libraries are the exception though.

  3. I just looked at the titles for the readings the week of "Divides of education, occupation, and income"--it doesn't necessarily look like any of these answer questions of computer use as related to specific occupations either. Too bad, that seems like an important topic/question.