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Women Taking Positions Within Computer Science

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In this study the authors argue that women situated within a masculine domain like computing can be seen as taking various positions within that domain rather than a position based on a gender-specific pattern. The authors' work is based on a conventional computer science course and students' experiences in a specific unit taken in year one. Through a deconstruction of aspects of this course, the authors analyse the subject positions of some of the women involved and show that the commonality in their relationship to computing is based upon a standpoint grounded in their complex positioning as both insiders and outsiders in that domain. This standpoint enables them to engage with 'the rules' in various ways. A woman tutor takes a position committed to providing access to students by attempting to integrate practice and abstraction, and the women students develop alternatives to the given rules, i.e. approaches to programming which work for them.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1998

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