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CGCS Visiting Scholar Lunchtime Discussion: Carla Ganito

May 20, 2010
12:00PM - 01:00PM

Annenberg School for Communication, Room 300
3620 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Categories: Seminar

Lunch will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Please RSVP to leisenach@asc.upenn.edu by Tuesday, May 18 at 12pm.

One is not made, but rather becomes, a feminine mobile phone

In recent years, mobility has become the context of living and thus we also have to understand gender against that background.  If society is co-produced with technology, the gender effect cannot be ignored in the design, development, innovation and communication of technological products. What makes the mobile phone an interesting technology to study on the scope of gender is that contrary to other technologies, especially computers and the Internet, mobile phones are egalitarian; they have been adopted almost identically by men and women around the globe. Nevertheless egalitarian does not mean equal. Figures between men and women are similar but differences come out in qualitative usage, its purpose and nature, as well as in the discourse.

This talk will describe the preliminary results of Ganito’s PhD research project: Women and Technology: Gendering the Mobile Phone.  Portugal is used as a case-study, that argues for a changing relation of women and technology and that becomes visible in the gendered uses and representations of the mobile phone. Although the study will take the Portuguese situation as a case in point, the framework of the dissertation will necessarily be linked to non-national developments.

The themes of the research are at the cross-roads of feminist studies, cultural studies, and new media.  It aims at building a feminist perspective into the debate around the social significance of the mobile phone thus overcoming the lack of studies that take into consideration the gendered nature of mobile communications.

Carla Ganito is currently a PhD candidate in Communication Sciences at Portuguese Catholic University.  Read our Q&A with Carla, who explains how she became interested in gender and mobile phones, and the title of her presentation.