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Gender, Race, Social Class, and Information Technology

Gender, Race, Social Class, and Information Technology
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Author(s): Myungsook Klassen (California Lutheran University, USA) and Russell Stockard Jr. (California Lutheran University, USA)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Eileen M. Trauth (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch109

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Abstract

The issue of the underrepresentation of women in the information technology (IT) workforce has been the subject of a number of studies, and the gender gap was an issue when the digital divide dominated discourse about women’s and minority groups’ use of the Internet. However, a broader view is needed. That perspective would include the relation of women and IT in the communities in which they live as well as the larger society. The information society that has emerged includes the United States (U.S.) and the globalized economy of which it is an integral part. Women and minorities, such as African Americans and Latinos, are underrepresented in computer science (CS) and other IT positions in the U.S. In addition, while they are no longer numerically underrepresented in access to computers and the Internet, as of 2000 (Gorski, 2001), they continue to enjoy fewer benefits available through the medium than white boys and men. The following article explores the diversity within women from the perspectives of race, ethnicity and social class in North America, mainly the U.S. The technology gender and racial gap persists in education and in the IT workforce. A broader and deeper look at women’s positions in relation to the increasingly techno-centric society reveals that women may have reached equality in access, but not in academic study and job opportunities.

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