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Girl Games : gender, technology and design for women’s recruitment in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)?

Abstract : This dissertation focuses on gender, design and technology through the artifact of video games — technology products of masculine engineering culture, and the gendered link between those that make video games (Production) and those that play them (Reception). My research examines a sector of the video game industry devoted to pre-adolescent girls, which 20 years ago was the site of feminist entrepreneurship hoping to remedy the gender imbalance in ICT (Information and Communication Technology). While parity has been achieved in media consumption, technological production firmly remains a masculine pursuit. This three-phase constructivist study begins with the personality preferences (MBTI) and sex-role orientation (BSRI) of women in game development, highlighting their exceptional resilience to gender stereotypes, and concludes with an ethnographic study of children playing independent, gender-neutral video games at an afterschool program in Paris. Using pragmatic semiotic epistemology, this dissertation argues that the belief-habits of negative gender and technology stereotypes are the principal roadblock to gender diversity in ICT – limiting the number of women willing to transgress gender norms into masculine professions and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy through parents’ gender-socialization that reifies the belief in masculine technological passion and skill while developing unequal gendered technological access and encouragement. The dissertation concludes with strategies for gender-neutralizing technology, including design heuristics for gender neutrality in children’s digital experiences.
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Frédérique Krupa. Girl Games : gender, technology and design for women’s recruitment in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)?. Art and art history. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018PA01H316⟩. ⟨tel-02724692⟩

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