“Recoding Gender”: The intersectional experience of female immigrant programmers in the Swedish IT sector

University essay from Lunds universitet/Graduate School; Lunds universitet/Master of Science in Social Studies of Gender

Abstract: Computer programming is historically constructed as a male domain, and the underrepresentation of women and other marginalised minorities is recognised as a global phenomenon in most countries of the world. However, limited attention has been paid to women who choose to enter this field. The lack of intersectional and cross-national analysis on the relationship between gender and technology remains a feminist concern in current science and technology studies (STS). Addressing this concern, this thesis explores the intersectional experience of immigrant women who are studying and working with programming in the Swedish IT sector, where opportunities and barriers, equality and discrimination are co-existing. By exploring their perceptions, motivations, challenges and strategies to persist in this male-dominated field, this thesis tries to understand how women’s experiences are shaped in different social and cultural contexts. Furthermore, drawing on feminist thoughts on the intertwined relation of gender and technology, as well as their diverse visions on the future of technology, this thesis discusses how programming and technology can be a means of empowerment with the potential problem of creating inequality.

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