Canadian Feminist Perspectives on Digital Technology

Leslie Regan Shade, Barbara Crow

Abstract


The study of technology in English-speaking communication studies in Canada has
been shaped by scholars such as Innis, McLuhan, and Grant, and contemporaneously
by Kroker (1994), de Kerckhove (1997), and Lévy (2001) for their analyses of
cyberculture. Mosco (2006), Raboy (2002), Dyer-Witheford (1999), Barney (2000),
and Proulx (2002, 2003) have made important contributions to the political economy
of communications and its relations to digital technology. Despite the important insights
of these scholars, most of this work does not address, incorporate or attend to gender
in its conceptualization nor engage with any of the insights and/or contributions in
feminist scholarship on technology. One of the few overt feminist critiques of the
discipline came from Gertrude Robinson, a long time scholar in the field. In 1998, she
explored how feminism has contributed to communication studies through its incorporation
of “gender as one of the primary social organizers which works in conjunction
with economic and political relationships,” yet this work continues to be
marginalized. We hope that in this short offering we can characterize the rich and evergrowing
critical feminist perspective on digital technology and reveal the ways in which
this work can enhance, invigorate, and perpetuate/innovate the important contributions
Canadian scholars have made to the discipline in communication studies.

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