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Narratives of ICT exclusion and inclusion: exploring tensions between policy, gender and network engineer training

Gillard, Hazel (2006) Narratives of ICT exclusion and inclusion: exploring tensions between policy, gender and network engineer training. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis analyses the attempt by the British government and a US corporation, Cisco Systems Inc., to address the low participation of women in ICT fields. It draws from government documentation on women's inclusion and contextualises this policy within a wider analysis of socio-economic exclusion. Three related cultures of inclusion emerge which are linked to improving the nation's access to the new economy, and central to each is the reconfiguration of democratic citizenship for people classified as socially excluded. Incorporating Cisco's and academic perspectives on gender and technology relations, a phenomenological perspective is used to unravel the reality of this present day snapshot of social and ICT exclusion and inclusion, with the Heideggerian concept of 'Gestell' reformulated to include a neo-Marxist framework and a gender analysis. Adopting the methodological approach of narrative and feminist critical theory, the thesis describes three key backgrounds to the related ICT policies and strategies and matches each with the experiences of students and staff engaged in the case study of the Cisco Certified Network Associate, a network engineer training programme. In contrasting these macro and micro accounts, the thesis seeks to explore underlying sites of tension to show how policy and practice are often in opposition to one another. Motivated by the research question of whether ontological security arises from the equity model of inclusion for a subset of the socially excluded, lone women parents, it is suggested that it does not. With the appearance of social control and not personal empowerment, greater insecurity is argued to accrue. In providing this analytical and empirical approach, the thesis seeks to contribute to current research on gender and technology by widening its remit of investigation, and provide an innovative, multidisciplinary and critical perspective to IS research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Information Technology, Business Administration, Management, Gender Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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