Search results

1 – 2 of 2
Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 December 2020

Fanny Vainionpää, Marianne Kinnula, Netta Iivari and Tonja Molin-Juustila

The low number of women in the information technology (IT) field is a concern. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors behind the exclusion of girls from the IT field.

Abstract

Purpose

The low number of women in the information technology (IT) field is a concern. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors behind the exclusion of girls from the IT field.

Design/methodology/approach

The present work includes a narrative literature review and an exploratory interview study with ten girls and six study guidance counsellors (GCs) from Finnish senior high schools. Using the nexus analysis as a theoretical lens, the authors examined the exclusion of girls from IT.

Findings

Earlier literature directed attention to the cultural norms, assumptions and stereotypes still prevalent in society and the lack of role models and positive media as factors contributing to girls excluding themselves from the IT field. In this research study’s data, the authors not only found evidence of the unintentional exclusion of girls from IT by others but also by the girls themselves. Findings of this research study illustrate the various discourses, actors and their interactions, their background and history-related factors affecting girls' career choices. The novelty of this study is in approaching high school as a site of exclusion, where problematic discourses, interactions and histories come together, reproducing exclusion of girls from the IT field.

Originality/value

The authors contribute with a literature review of the research study on gender and IT and the inclusion/exclusion dynamics around IT. Using the nexus analysis, the authors identify the exclusion dynamics in this complex social issue. Several decades of research have shown that the inclusion of women remains low in IT disciplines. In this study, high schools are viewed as sites of exclusion, engendering a prevalent lack of information and education on the field. The authors offer novel insights into the role of curriculum, GCs and online information excluding girls from the IT field.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Netta Iivari, Marianne Kinnula and Leena Kuure

Children have been recognized as an important user group for information and communication technology (ICT) and methods for involving them in ICT design have already been…

Abstract

Purpose

Children have been recognized as an important user group for information and communication technology (ICT) and methods for involving them in ICT design have already been devised. However, there is a lack of research on children’s genuine or authentic participation in ICT design as well as a lack of critical research scrutinizing how “children” and “their participation” actually end up constructed in ICT design. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

An intervention involving children in ICT design following the research strategy of nexus analysis was implemented. A qualitative data archive of this intervention is examined through a Foucauldian lens.

Findings

The study reveals that numerous discourses were relied on when talking about “children” and “their participation” in the case project: the discourses of participation, equality, domination, segregation, rebellion, and patronization were identified. Moreover, “children” were constructed as equal partners and influential, but also as ignorant, ignored, silent, and silencing each other. Some of the findings are in line with the existing ICT literature on the matter, others even with the literature on genuine participation of children. However, children and their participation were also constructed as “problematic” in many senses.

Research limitations/implications

The study contributes to and opens up avenues for critical research on genuine participation of users, especially children.

Practical implications

Practical suggestions for researchers interested in participation of children in ICT design are provided.

Originality/value

While research literature offers an abundance of best practices and an idealized view on children and their participation, this study shows the multitude of challenges involved and discourses circulating around.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

1 – 2 of 2