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

Thank you Andy for starting this thread and Mike and David for chiming in!
I know my co-authors plan to respond in further depth to some of the other
questions raised but wanted to give a sense of where we think this work is
heading. We see this study as a starting point for looking more closely at
gendered interactions around a host of new commercial materials popular in
making as well as across same gender and mixed gender dyads. We would also
like to start problematizing our notions of gender further in this work.
Many of these studies are currently under way and some interesting findings
are emerging that we're excited to share out soon! This really opens up a
line of research questions for us but anecdotally most of the folks in
computing, for example, are shocked to see how different these interactions
look as compared to typical interactions around computers and robotics kits
like Lego Mindstorms.


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