A Located Realism: Recent Development within Feminist Science Studies and the Present Options for Feminist Engineering

TitleA Located Realism: Recent Development within Feminist Science Studies and the Present Options for Feminist Engineering
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsUdén, M.
Secondary TitleWomen’s Studies International Forum
ISBN Number0277-5395
Abstract

The article states that in order to be meaningful gender studies in engineering need to conceptualize feminist understandings into the web of routines created and maintained in engineering practice. Its theme is the area in-between laboratory settings and human-machine interfaces. This huge area includes civil engineering, energy production, mechanical engineering and more, but has hardly been addressed in feminist writing on technology. The works of Evelyn Fox Keller and Karen Barad are investigated. Their respective approaches to language differ, as do their stances with regards to the possibility of universal knowledge. As an experiment, agential realism is applied to a fictive case of a collapsing structure, and found to make sense as feminist conceptualization of such an event. But engineering takes place in complex and disruptive processes that produce situated experience. Therefore, feminist concepts of embodiment and plurality remain crucial. The author recommends a located realism. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI10.1016/j.wsif.2009.05.014