Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gender, Technology, and the History of Technical Communication

Reflections on Katherine T. Durack's "Gender, Technology, and the History of Technical Communication"

Women largely absent from history due to cultural blinders

What is technical writing?
1. Close relationship with technology (as either subject or function)
2. Associated with work and workplace

David Dobrin - writing that accommodates technology to the user

Killingsworth - technical writing exists to help readers achieve work-related goals -- to perform work, to solve problems in a work context

Inclusive definitions challenge dualistic thinking
- public vs. private
- household vs. industry
- masculine vs. feminine

Technical writing is social action, exists to accomplish something

Technical writing's close relationship to technology (knowledge, action, tools) -- not just inventions but innovations and implementations

Technical writing makes tacit knowledge explicitly

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