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Data, Technology, Gender, and Society


Generally, Anabel Quan-Haase’s text is sensitive to the shifting societal expectations and connected possibilities brought about by the convergence of society and technology. Quan-Haase animates the questions necessary to our continually developing connection with technology by combining historical approaches that are research-based and theoretical to examine the relationship of humans with technology. Quan-Haase’s approach urges different readers to look thoughtfully at their increasingly technological lifestyles. In the same context, Anna Lauren Hoffmann, in her text, brings up the impact of the concept of the “big data” revolution on gender within society. A summary of the two texts will be based on the impact of “big data,” for instance, “data violence” on trans and gender non-conforming individuals, and ways suggested by Quan-Haase that gender impacts technological implementation and innovation.

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Main body

In chapter 8, Quan-Haase, (2021) expounds on why even though both sexuality and gender are considered spheres that are personal and private, they still, in a close manner, intersect with the world around us. The influence has necessitated the development of theoretical frameworks and innovative research methods that are comprehensive and have proved helpful in the investigation of how technology is gendered. Besides that, it is possible to determine how gender interacts with the design, development, and implementation of technology.

An excellent example of a theoretical framework discussed by Quan-Haase, (2021) is reductionism under household technology. The technology was promoted because it facilitated the concept of labor-saving and the work of homemakers; the two concepts pushed for the expectation of tidiness and cleanliness of homes by women. In the same chapter, it is also evident that women can build a community on a global scale and draw people’s attention to various subjects, such as sexual violence against women, with Hashtags such as the #Me Too movement. With all these concerns, does it mean that gender equality is likely to be attained by a more considerable margin with more advancement and development in technology?

On the other hand, according to Hoffmann (2017), “big data” exists through the proliferation of personal computing devices combined with widespread internet availability. This revolution of “big data”; has resulted in various negative influences on women, such as sexual harassment. To create an understanding of how gender and online sexism, big data, needs, and the health of transgender people are linked up, Hoffmann first confronts the mythology of big data by noting that quantitative insights and big data into the behavior of human beings are things that we make and remake but are not given.

The following subtopic explores significant strands of thought regarding the relationship between gender and technology, providing further insight into how stereotypes of gendered biases are integrated into scientific and technical development practice. An example of services denoted gender-biased was the apple health kit app, which was regarded as failing to account for some critical specific needs of women. Lastly, with the two explained concepts, Hoffmann (2017) has elaborated on how negatively they impact the minority group, the trans group. There is evidence of data violence across several social media platforms; for instance, these platforms only recognize two main genders,” the male and the female,” ignoring the transgender group. Besides, various individuals may modify and carry out surveys meant to oppress and discriminate against the minority group.


The two texts are different in that Quan-Haase, argues majorly on the impact of gender on technology, such as women creating various influential hashtags. In addition to that concept, Hoffmann disapproves of big data myths and then discusses the negative impact of technology-big data on various minority groups, such as the transgender group. The two texts have confirmed that despite the personal sphere and the invincibility of gender when it comes to technology, it still has got huge influence.


Hoffmann, A. L. (2017). Data, technology, and gender: Thinking about (and from) trans lives. In Spaces for the Future (pp. 3-13). Routledge.

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Quan-Haase, A. (2021). Technology and society: Social networks, power, and inequality. Oxford University Press. (3 rd ed.).

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