ERIC Number: ED472861
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Women and the Information Society: Barriers and Participation.
Goulding, Anne; Spacey, Rachel
The development and use of communication and information technologies, notably the Internet, have stimulated huge changes in the organization of work and daily life in Europe, leading to a process of transition from the "Industrial" to the "Information" society. The ultimate aim of the Information Society should be the empowerment of all its citizens through access to and use of knowledge but at present some people, including women, are more distant than others from the opportunities presented by the Information Society. Thus, although the Internet has been hailed as an emancipating and democratizing force, it is not gender-neutral. Evidence of a gender imbalance in the use of the Internet threatens the vision of a democratic space to which everyone has equal access and in which everyone is equal. This paper reviews the literature on the topic of women, the information society and the Internet. It also presents selected results of Masters research projects undertaken in the Department of Information Science at Loughborough University. Specifically, the paper discusses female access to the Internet and explores some of the barriers that may prevent women having the same access as men. It also examines differences in male and female Internet use. The point is made that, very often, the negative aspects of the Internet for women are emphasized but stresses that there are, in fact, positive reasons for women to use the Internet and advantages to this method of computer mediated communication for women. Finally, the concept of Cyberfeminism is discussed. It is concluded that although there are negative sides to the technology, women must engage with the Internet if they are to help shape the Information Society. (Contains 35 references.) (Author)
Descriptors: Access to Information, Computer Mediated Communication, Empowerment, Females, Foreign Countries, Information Technology, Internet, Sex Differences, Sex Role
For full text: http://www.ifla.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A