Almost two weeks ago, I wrote a paper on mobile technology, gender and cities. It’s called Mobile Space is Women’s Space: Reframing Mobile Phones and Gender in an Urban Context.
After looking at different examples of mobile technology and cities in interaction with each other, I’ve concluded that mobile space is women’s space–and not gender neutral or gendered male (as seems to be the assumption with technology. What’s more exciting to me on this is that in that this seems to offer more possibilities for women in disadvantaged situations or in the developing world.
I am a design and architectural researcher, historian and theorist. I’m not an anthropologist or sociologist. But I’d like some feedback. I want to know what inexpensive mobile communication technology means for space and for cities.
- What other examples should I be looking at? (I left out the HollabackNYC and Thao Nguyen examples of cell phones and flashers).
- What do I need to be aware of in the types of studies this paper has examined–are there pitfalls in the work I’ve cited?
- Are there historical precedents to be aware of, perhaps with the cordless phone, the history of the phone booth or its slow disappearance?
I already realize that there’s a globalization studies perspective on micro-loans in the developing world. (In a conversation yesterday with MIT’s Arindam Dutta, he said, “It’s a credit card! A micro-loan is a credit card, at a very high rate!”) And I’d like to not be a techno-utopist about these things. But I would like to pursue this research direction, and so I ask you for your feedback.
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