Tanja Paulitz is a social scientist working in the area of science and technology studies, especially researching new communication technologies, subjectivity and the engineering design process. Currently she is working on the social conceptions of technological productivity in mechanical engineering. She has studied the construction of subjectivity in the design of virtual cooperation platforms on the Internet.
She is assistant professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies on Women and Gender at the Technical University of Berlin. In 2004 she received her doctor’s degree in social sciences at the University of Kassel. Currently she is a Lise Meitner Scholar and Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society at Graz, Austria. Her main fields of work are gender and ICTs, networks and virtual communities/subjectivities, feminist theories, methodologies and epistemologies in empirical research on science and technology, engineering studies.
Gender and engineering design in the information society
The project follows the proposition that technical and 'social' constructions are in a close mutual relationship in which gender is a significant category. It aims at the examination of the social construction of the activity of designing technology as a gendered activity. The question is how design can be considered a gender-coded human productivity and what ideas of gender are assigned to it.
The study focus is based on the history of engineering, especially the construction theories. These theories mainly of mechanical engineering and the computer science are the major part and will be examined regarding their gender implications. Put in concrete terms, the social-scientific examination aims at historical and current theoretical knowledge of engineering design as represented in textbooks and engineering journals. In the future as part of a follow-up project stage, the know how of constructing engineers are to be empirically examined. The project is supposed to determine the gender-relevant features while historically and synchronically comparing various fields and approaches of technical constructing. The examination focuses especially on a critical perspective regarding possible transformations in the concepts of today's engineering design theories and practices. To the most part, such transformations can be expected in the context of current societal transformation processes (information society). The project’s goal is to provide evidence that transformations in the history of technical construction theories have a gender dimension. This could open up new perspectives for future change in the gender relations in engineering: First, new images can be made available that argumentatively support a case for the presence and professionalism of women in technology. Second, such an analysis holds critical reflection potentials on how to apply the term construction in the social sciences and in gender studies. The outcomes of the project are supposed to be suitable for the field of technology as well as for the theoretical discussion in the social sciences.
The project is financed by the Lise-Meitner-Program of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
Tanja Paulitz (2005): Netzsubjektivität/en. Konstruktionen von Vernetzung als Technologien des sozialen Selbst. Eine empirische Untersuchung in Modellprojekten der Informatik. Münster: Verlag Westf. Dampfboot. [Netsubjectivity/ies. Constructions of networking as technologies of the social self. An empirical study of model projects in the computer science.]
Urte Helduser, Daniela Marx, Tanja Paulitz, Katharina Pühl (Eds.) (2004): Under construction? Konstruktivismen in feministischer Theorie und Forschungspraxis. Frankfurt/M., New York: Campus Verlag.
Tanja Paulitz (2006): Implicit/explicit alliances between gender and technology in the construction of virtual networks. In: Maaß, Susanne; Schelhowe, Heidi, Schirmer, Carola; Zorn, Isabel (eds.), Gender Perspectives on Information Society Technology. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. (in print)
Tanja Paulitz (2004): Engendering in Engineering. Zur Historisierung von Konstruktion als technische und vergeschlechtlichte Metapher. In: Helduser, Urte; Marx, Daniela; Paulitz, Tanja; Pühl, Katharina (eds.), under construction? Frankfurt/M., New York: Campus Verlag. pp. 103-113.
Tanja Paulitz (2004): Grenzkonstruktionen von Virtualität und Nicht-Virtualität. Am Beispiel internationaler Vernetzung von Frauen. In: Kahlert, Heike; Kajatin, Claudia (eds.), Arbeit und Vernetzung im Informationszeitalter. Wie neue Technologien die Geschlechterverhältnisse verändern. Frankfurt/M., New York: Campus Verlag. pp. 259-278.
Tanja Paulitz (2002): (Natur-) Wissenschaft als Praxis. Zur Materialität von Konstruktionen in der wissenschaftlichen Kultur. In: Helduser, Urte; Schwietring, Thomas (eds.), Kultur und ihre Wissenschaft. Beiträge zu einem reflexiven Verhältnis. Konstanz: UVK. pp. 179-201.
Standard Article Tanja Paulitz
newspaper articel from 13.03.2007 (pdf 586,94 KB)
Findings (pdf 53,53 KB)