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[Xmca-l] Re: Gendered Access in Crafting and Electronics Practices



Dear Beth:

Yes, that disambiguates marvelously--at least, your answer to the
second question does. I spent some time on reddit.com trying to
reconstruct the back story and must confess myself rather bewildered.

As Andy says, a unit of analysis always depends on the particular
problem you are trying to solve (and in fact I think a lot of the
confusion over the formulation 'the minimal unit retains the essential
properties under investigation' can be cleared up if you just keep
this caveat in mind). So let me begin with my particular problem. I'm
interested in Ruqaiya Hasan's idea of a Generalized Structure
Potential in children's stories--a model which she developed with
Basil Bernstein in the sixties to describe nursery tales. It supposes
that every story has, at least, a "Placement"--that is, a setting of
the participants in a time and a place. And of course that's just what
you have to invent when you use puppets, because unlike pictures
puppets do not give us circumstances.

In some ways, the "memes" on reddit.com are the opposite of stories,
or at least narratives. So for example if you take the usual Labov and
Waletzky '(A) OCER (C)' structure
(Orientation-Complication-Evaluation-Resolution with an optional
Abstract at the beginning and Coda at the end) a meme doesn't have
either Abstract or Orientation, and tends to begin with a Complication
or an Evaluation instead. In some ways, then, a meme on reddit.com is
more like a dialogue: I just go ahead and initiate with some
Complication and hope that somebody will give me an Evaluation. From
what you say, though, the back story that Antoine and Amber came up
with is really a story and not a meme. But the crucial element (either
Complication or Resolution) of the story has to involve the touching
of the puppets, doesn't it? And...if one puppet is "reddit robot", is
the other one nyan cat?

While reading over the exchange on the other thread (LSV vs. ANL,
units of analysis, etc.) I was wondering what our authors were making
of all this: xmca must seem a little like reddit.com. But in fact it
seems to me that as usual the two threads are related. You see, one of
the big differences between Vygotsky and Leontiev is precisely over
whether an analysis should focus on the material activities that go
into meaning-making or whether we can understand it better by approach
the semantic products that come out of it. In some ways, the argument
is reproducing itself: do we understand the conflict between Vygotsky
and Leontiev better by looking at the texts they wrote (Leontiev did
write some very useful texts on semantic products such as memory and
of course he did take part in the presentation in New Haven of the
critique of Piaget's work on egocentric speech in 1929) or do we
understand it better by looking carefully at the material conditions
of text production?

So too with Antoine and Amber. The article is an excellent, terse, but
nevertheless quite rich presentation of the material conditions of
story production. But for readers like me, the back story has to be up
front.

David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies


On 27 October 2014 00:15, Beth Buchholz <babuchho@umail.iu.edu> wrote:
> Thanks for this discussion! I can quickly address a couple of these
> questions:
>
> *Was there any character that went with the sock puppets? Was there any
> story that went with the character? If so, where did the story come from,
> and was **there any jockeying for control over the story?* (p. 283):
>
> Yes, youth did create stories for their puppets/characters. Kylie described
> Antoine and Amber's characters' fascinating back story in a paper for AERA
> last year: "One of the hand puppets was intended to be “reddit robot,” who
> is the “mascot” of reddit.com, a web community where users vote on what's
> new and popular online. In a storyboard that Amber and Antoine later
> created around their puppets, reddit robot sets out to “make people lazyer”
> [sic] by adding the music to the bewilderingly infectious Nyan Cat Internet
> meme—the animated GIF of a flying cat with a pop-tart body that has
> generated over 81 million views on YouTube since its appearance in Spring
> 2011. (The Nyan Cat was a top hit on reddit.com at the time of the
> e-textiles workshop)."  (Peppler, 2013)
>
> *The first sentence of the section "Hands-On Materials as Gendered Access"
> refers to "two focal girls". Is this a mistake, or am **I missing somebody?*
>  (p. 293)
>
> Sorry that this is confusing to readers. This section moves away from Amber
> and Antoine to consider broader patterns observed across *both *dyads
> studied (see pp. 283-284 for frequency counts and other noted patterns
> across both dyads). We qualitatively focused on one dyad in the article,
> but data from *two* *mixed-gender dyads *informed the larger findings--thus
> "two focal girls" [across both mixed-gender dyads]. Does this help?
>
>
> --Beth Buchholz
>
>
> On Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 3:24 AM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I have a bunch of rather silly questions, and then a comment about the
>> interpretation of the data.
>>
>> p. 280: Why do we assume that nonverbal handing money to a cashier or
>> handing a birthday present to a friend is an unspoken agreement? It is
>> certainly true that the nonverbal component of the interaction may be
>> abstracted away from it. But there are actually very few nonverbal
>> handings, of either money or birthday presents, that would have the
>> same meaning. Isn't it more useful to consider that speech can play
>> varying degrees of importance in an interactioni (e.g. it can be
>> "ancillary" where the commodity being exchanged is goods or services
>> and it is essential when, as is normally the case in both handing
>> money to a cashier and handing a birthday present to a friend,
>> information is exchanged as well?
>>
>> p. 283: Puppets are unusual in that, unlike socks, they necessarily
>> have symbolic meaning (that is, a sock puppet that is not a symbol for
>> some imaginary character is a sock and not a puppet). Was there any
>> character that went with the sock puppets? Was there any story that
>> went with the character? If so, where did the story come from, and was
>> there any jockeying for control over the story? Note the titillating
>> potential of characters that "light up" when they touch! Did this
>> create any visible titillation for embarrassment?
>>
>> p. 283: I can sort of follow why stitching, knotting, and threading
>> might be gendered (a kind of washback from the world of work, I
>> suppose). Why gluing?
>>
>> p. 289: Why does Amber refer to Antoine as "Nicholas"?
>>
>> p. 293: The first sentence of the section "Hands-On Materials as
>> Gendered Access" refers to "two focal girls". Is this a mistake, or am
>> I missing somebody?
>>
>> And my comment. It seems to me that a lot of studies (not this one in
>> particular but many studies of this type in general) tend to view
>> gendered access as a matter of gendered access to property or power or
>> both. But this is very often an adult view; we adults are obsessed
>> with power and property and we assume that it is only right that
>> children are. Isn't it possible that to the children what is really
>> gendered is access to aesthetic concepts versus access to technical
>> expertise? Both orientations address the tension between form and
>> material, but they address it from very different sides and are
>> ultimately indispensible to each other (which is notoriously not the
>> case with disputes over property and power). Note, however, that when
>> the teacher says that it is decorating that is the fun part, the
>> teacher is biasing the children towards the aesthetic and away from
>> the technical!)
>>
>> David Kellogg
>> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>>
>> On 24 October 2014 07:07, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>> > Aha!  Thanks!
>> >
>> > So artificial literacies refers to the mediation of reading/writing by a
>> > variety of artifacts! Ok, that I can make sense of. And thanks for the
>> RRQ
>> > ref on sedimented identities. This phrase is used in discussion of text
>> > production. For those ignorant like myself, here is the summary provided
>> by
>> > the authors, which also makes the point of their text (and the present
>> > one!) cleared:
>> >
>> > *THE COMMENTARY argues for an understanding of how texts are put together
>> > that accounts for multimodality and draws on children’s ways of being and
>> > doing in the home, their habitus. It focuses on identities as socially
>> > situated. It argues that it is important to trace the process of
>> > sedimenting identities during text production. This offers a way of
>> viewing
>> > text production that can inform research into children’s text making.
>> > Particular attention is paid to the producer, contexts, and practices
>> used
>> > during text production and how the text becomes an artifact that holds
>> > important information about the meaning maker. Four case studies describe
>> > sedimented identities as a lens through which to see a more nuanced
>> > perspective on meaning making. This work offers a lens for research and
>> > practice in that it enables researchers to question and interrogate the
>> way
>> > texts come into being.*
>> >
>> >
>> > mike
>> >
>> > On Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 10:35 AM, Karen Wohlwend <kwohlwen@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> >> Certainly-- Rowsell and Pahl take an ethnographic approach to track the
>> >> practices and user identities involved in the production and previous
>> uses
>> >> of an artifact.
>> >>
>> >> Rowsell, J., & Pahl, K. (2007). Sedimented identities in texts:
>> Instances
>> >> of practice. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(3), 388-404.
>> >>
>> >> Pahl, K., & Rowsell, J. (2010). Artifactual literacies: Every object
>> tells
>> >> a story. New York: Teachers College Press.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> On Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 12:56 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> > Karen--- I am familiar of course with the notion of artifacts, but I
>> am
>> >> not
>> >> > familiar with
>> >> > Rowsell and Pahl's sedimented identities and artifactual literacies.
>> >> Could
>> >> > you provide a link or a reference? The phrase has me wondering what a
>> >> > non-artifactual literacy would be.
>> >> > mike
>> >> >
>> >> > On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 7:03 PM, Karen Wohlwend <kwohlwen@gmail.com>
>> >> > wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> > > Andy, thanks for these generative questions and comments! I'll
>> defer to
>> >> > my
>> >> > > co-authors to situate the focal case in the larger study but I'll
>> >> address
>> >> > > how we are considering relationships among gender, practices, and
>> >> tools.
>> >> > >
>> >> > > We're conceptualizing tools as anchoring artifacts, that concretize
>> and
>> >> > > suggest particular uses  and users accrued from cultural histories
>> of
>> >> > > access and use (following Holland and Cole's cultural artifacts, and
>> >> more
>> >> > > recently, Rowsell and Pahl's sedimented identities and artifactual
>> >> > > literacies). Tools index shared histories of use, values, and
>> >> > expectations
>> >> > > for who *should *be a user and for how practices *should *be
>> conducted,
>> >> > > practices which following Paechter are situated in communities of
>> >> > gendered
>> >> > > practice that are multiple, local, and embodied.
>> >> > >
>> >> > > However, we would not say that a tool is gendered in any fixed or
>> >> > > deterministic way. In any given moment of activity, tools signal
>> >> multiple
>> >> > > histories in many nexus of practice (following Ron Scollon, the
>> tacit
>> >> > > shared practices that members of a community expect of one another)
>> >> that
>> >> > > lead up to, enter in, and flow from that moment, in contradictory,
>> >> > > confounding, and complementary ways, hence the ambiguity you've
>> >> > mentioned.
>> >> > > How/whether social actors make use of particular histories in a
>> >> specific
>> >> > > context realizes foregrounds some histories while backgrounding
>> >> others--
>> >> > in
>> >> > > ways that can reproduce, contest, or blur prevailing expectations
>> for
>> >> > > participation. In our analysis, we looked closely at the mediated
>> >> actions
>> >> > > in the handling of tools in the one nexus to understand in a very
>> >> > concrete
>> >> > > way how girls were able to gain and maintain control over
>> >> > > projects--contrary to histories and expectations for high levels of
>> >> tool
>> >> > > handling, participation, and trajectories of expertise for boys in
>> >> > > electronics activity.
>> >> > >
>> >> > > Looking closely at the mediated action in this transformative moment
>> >> > > reveals how changing the electronics tools from wires to needle and
>> >> > thread
>> >> > > changes the nexus, activating a powerful perception/expectation for
>> >> girls
>> >> > > as appropriate tool users by signalling histories of sewing
>> practices
>> >> and
>> >> > > feminine communities of practice.
>> >> > >
>> >> > > In regard to other situations, looking closely at mediated actions,
>> >> > > material artifacts, and tacit expectations for participation in the
>> >> > > relevant nexus of practice will likely also reveal how materials
>> relate
>> >> > to
>> >> > > stereotypical expectations, pointing to places ripe for rupture
>> where
>> >> > > changing something small in the local activity (e.g., an action, a
>> >> tool,
>> >> > a
>> >> > > material) in dominant nexus of practice can signal a different kind
>> of
>> >> > user
>> >> > > and potentially disrupt persistent and naturalized stereotypes.
>> >> > >
>> >> > > Looking forward to continuing the conversation,
>> >> > > Karen
>> >> > >
>> >> > >
>> >> > > On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 7:08 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>> >> wrote:
>> >> > >
>> >> > > > Kylie & co.,
>> >> > > > A fascinating study around a truly ingenious approach to the
>> gendered
>> >> > > > division of labour - giving school kids E-textiles to construct an
>> >> > > > electronic device - total mixing up and confounding the gender
>> >> > > stereotypes
>> >> > > > about sewing and electronics, etc.
>> >> > > >
>> >> > > > Some of the results were quite startling. That the young boy
>> should
>> >> not
>> >> > > > just abstain and demonstratively not pay attention, but pay active
>> >> and
>> >> > > > supportive attention to the girl making the circuit with her
>> >> > > > needle-and-thread - an admired female-typical stance one would
>> have
>> >> > > thought
>> >> > > > a young male incapable of adopting with a female workmate. And
>> that
>> >> the
>> >> > > > gender-inscription of the sewing tools over-rode the greater
>> >> experience
>> >> > > > that in this case the young boy had in using them, with the boy
>> >> > deferring
>> >> > > > to the less experienced girl in recognition of the
>> >> > gender-appropriateness
>> >> > > > of her "taking charge" with the needle-and-thread. This does cause
>> >> one
>> >> > to
>> >> > > > think a little deeper into how we might conceptualise such
>> gendered
>> >> > > > behaviours.
>> >> > > >
>> >> > > > As you would know, MCA has a strong preference for qualitative
>> >> > research,
>> >> > > > and studies with small sample sizes are not generally a problem,
>> but
>> >> so
>> >> > > > much seemed to hinge on the study of just *one* boy-girl team,
>> that I
>> >> > am
>> >> > > > concerned about the capacity to generalise from such a base. There
>> >> were
>> >> > > > about 80 youth in the activity as a whole, so I can only hope and
>> >> > presume
>> >> > > > that observation of the other 78 kids in some way guided the work
>> >> > focused
>> >> > > > on just 2.
>> >> > > >
>> >> > > > I must say, the analysis of the video data is very sophisticated
>> and
>> >> > > > productive and you are to be congratulated on this aspect of the
>> >> work.
>> >> > I
>> >> > > > see that you approach the gendering of the activities through the
>> >> idea
>> >> > of
>> >> > > > the various *tools* being gendered, rather than the *practices*
>> >> > > themselves.
>> >> > > > This is something that was really necessary for you to be able to
>> >> make
>> >> > > > these observations, because the gendering of the activities is
>> >> > ambiguous,
>> >> > > > but not it seems the gendering of the tools. Is this a result of
>> the
>> >> > > study,
>> >> > > > or is it something you already knew or did you arrive at this by
>> >> logic?
>> >> > > >
>> >> > > > Do you see any other opportunities for confounding gender
>> stereotypes
>> >> > in
>> >> > > > this way?
>> >> > > >
>> >> > > > And finally, does the experience of working in ambiguous, even
>> >> inverted
>> >> > > > gender-stereotyped activities like these have any outcome which
>> >> carries
>> >> > > > over into a world where the gender division of labour lacks
>> >> ambiguity?
>> >> > > >
>> >> > > > Andy
>> >> > > >
>> >> > > >
>> >> > > >
>> >> >
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> >> > > > *Andy Blunden*
>> >> > > > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>> >> > > >
>> >> > > >
>> >> > > > Kylie Peppler wrote:
>> >> > > >
>> >> > > >> Thanks Andy! We're excited to discuss with the community and
>> would
>> >> > > >> welcome any comments/questions on this emerging line of research!
>> >> > > >> Kylie
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >> ---
>> >> > > >> Kylie A. Peppler
>> >> > > >> Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences
>> >> > > >> Indiana University | School of Education
>> >> > > >> 1900 E 10th Street | Eigenmann 528 | Bloomington | IN | 47406 |
>> >> > > >> 812.856.8381
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >> On Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 10:52 PM, Andy Blunden <
>> ablunden@mira.net
>> >> > > >> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>     Here's the article for discussion Artin is introducing:
>> >> > > >>     *Hands On, Hands Off: Gendered Access in Crafting and
>> >> Electronics
>> >> > > >>     Practices*
>> >> > > >>     Beth Buchholz, Kate Shively, Kylie Peppler, and Karen
>> Wohlwend.
>> >> > > >>     Indiana University.
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>        The Maker movement promotes hands-on making, including
>> >> crafts,
>> >> > > >>        robotics, and computing. The movement’s potential to
>> >> transform
>> >> > > >>        education rests in our ability to address notable gender
>> >> > > >>        disparities, particularly in science, technology,
>> >> engineering,
>> >> > > and
>> >> > > >>        mathematics fields. E-textiles - the first
>> female-dominated
>> >> > > >>        computing community - provide inspiration for overcoming
>> >> > > >>        long-standing cultural divides in classrooms. Analysis of
>> >> > > >>     children’s
>> >> > > >>        use of e-textiles reveals that materials like needles,
>> >> fabric,
>> >> > > and
>> >> > > >>        conductive thread rupture traditional gender scripts
>> around
>> >> > > >>        electronics and implicitly gives girls hands-on access and
>> >> > > >>        leadership roles. This reconceptualization of cultural
>> >> divides
>> >> > as
>> >> > > >>        sets of tacitly accepted practices rooted in gendered
>> >> histories
>> >> > > has
>> >> > > >>        implications for reconceptualizing traditionally
>> >> male-dominated
>> >> > > >>        areas of schooling.
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>     Andy
>> >> > > >>     (attached)
>> >> > > >>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>> >> > > >> ------------
>> >> > > >>     *Andy Blunden*
>> >> > > >>     http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>> >> > > >>     <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>     Goncu, Artin wrote:
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>         Dear All,
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>         We are writing to let you know that the most recent
>> issue of
>> >> > > >>         MCA is out.
>> >> > > >>         One of the articles published in this issue and being
>> >> > > >>         introduced here for
>> >> > > >>         discussion in referenced below.  The authors of the
>> article
>> >> > > >>         have kindly
>> >> > > >>         agreed to lead the discussion, and they are on xmca with
>> us
>> >> > > >>         now.  The free
>> >> > > >>         access to the article is possible through the links
>> below.
>> >> We
>> >> > > >>         are looking
>> >> > > >>         forward to hearing from you all.  Best, ag
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>         Hands On, Hands Off: Gendered Access in Crafting
>> >> > > >>         and Electronics Practices
>> >> > > >>         Beth Buchholz, Kate Shively, Kylie Peppler, and Karen
>> >> Wohlwend
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>         www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/10749039.2014.939762
>> >> > > >>         <http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/10749039.2014.939762
>> >
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>         http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10749039.2014
>> .
>> >> > > >> 939762#.VEZ25Ra_4wI
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>         Artin Goncu, Ph.D
>> >> > > >>         Co-editor, Mind, Culture, and Activity:An International
>> >> > Journal
>> >> > > >>         Professor Emeritus,
>> >> > > >>         University of Illinois at Chicago
>> >> > > >>         College of Education M/C 147
>> >> > > >>         1040 W. Harrison St.
>> >> > > >>         Chicago, IL 60607
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >
>> >> > >
>> >> > >
>> >> > > --
>> >> > > Karen Wohlwend, Associate Professor
>> >> > > Literacy, Culture, & Language Education
>> >> > > Indiana University
>> >> > > 201 N. Rose Avenue
>> >> > > Bloomington, IN 47405
>> >> > > Office: 812-856-8275
>> >> > > Fax: 812-856-8287
>> >> > > kwohlwen@indiana.edu
>> >> > >
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > --
>> >> > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
>> >> > object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>> >> >
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> Karen Wohlwend, Associate Professor
>> >> Literacy, Culture, & Language Education
>> >> Indiana University
>> >> 201 N. Rose Avenue
>> >> Bloomington, IN 47405
>> >> Office: 812-856-8275
>> >> Fax: 812-856-8287
>> >> kwohlwen@indiana.edu
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
>> > object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> "Education is not preparation for  life; education is life itself." - John
> Dewey
>
> Beth A. Buchholz
> Indiana University, Doctoral Student
> Literacy, Culture, and Language Education
> 3048 Wright Education Building
> (434) 227-9993