Gendered Software Design: Gender Scripts in Technological Artefacts
When developing computer systems, system designers permanently make unconscious pre-assumptions concerning the users and their preferences, and obviously part of these also relate to hidden social, and therefore also gender roles and expectations concerning the application field. The aim of this research project was to theoretically and practically link deconstructivist feminist theories and applied informatics. In order to breaking the line between these scientific discourses the technological development process of different software projects was analysed by consciously reflecting non explicit gender scripts. Within the scope of the project three case studies were conducted for discovering gender relevant mechanisms in software engineering processes, as well as in the organization of these processes and in technically centred quality standards underlying such processes. For the purpose of reflecting implicit assumptions and gender scripts within software engineering processes at the meta-level a new method has been developed: The deconstructivist approach applied within this project is called "Mind Scripting". This method allows for making the hidden social dimensions of technological artifacts visible. On the basis of the empirical findings of this deconstruction an enlarged evolutionary system design method for software engineering has been developed, which implies an enlarged concept of quality.
Project executive: Univ.-Prof.in.Dr.in. Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger
Scientific collaborators: Mag.a. Doris Allhutter, Mag.a. Sara John
Contractor: fFORTE of the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture
Duration: 24 months