The culture of engineering: Woman, workplace and machine
|Title||The culture of engineering: Woman, workplace and machine|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1981|
|Authors||Hacker, S. L.|
|Secondary Title||Women’s Studies International Quarterly|
Questions arising from research on automation and women’s work have led me to explore patriarchal elements in the culture of engineering/management. In an elite technological institute, the engineering faculty, compared with the humanities faculty, reported more distance in childhood from experiences and qualities generally gender-linked with females–intimacy, sensuality, one’s own body, social complexity. Engineers valued social hierarchy on a continuum giving most prestige to scientific abstraction, least to feminine qualities. Such values were transmitted in the engineering classroom, for example, through professors’ jokes, to a new generation of engineering/ management. A persistent mind/body dualism was exhibited, subordinating sexuality and the body, and elevating scientific abstraction. The dualism translated into a mechanical view of the person and to continued separation of functions of mind and hand. Further examination of mind/body dualisms may help us to understand how the persistence of this body of ideas in Western technology affects labor processes, and in particular, women, workplace and machine.