Research project: Gender Research as innovative ressource for a sustainable and socially fair and just development of information
(Short title: "Innovations and Transformations")
Research Program: Transdiciplinary Perspectives of Gender Research
funded by the Austrian Ministery of Education & Science
General description of the project - abstract
This project discusses feminist analysis and critiques of new technologies in
biology and informatics
Fields of thematic subjects:
The main topic of this project is to find out the position and to evaluate
contemporary Gender Research in the context of the scientifically and technically
determined transformations within the information and knowledge society in
Austria (keyword: new technologies). Methodologically there will be used the
method of comparative investigations of selected European regions and countries,
whereby highly qualified experts and partners will be included for cooperation.
The acceptability and the status of programs in Gender Research will also
be analyzed with respect to its multidimensional connections to the existence
and progress of gender equality policies in the particular countries or regions.
- Investigation and discussion of the new technologies connected to the
biological revolution within the fields of genetics and microbiology including
reproductive medical technologies and their implications for health and
a high quality of life.
- Investigation of the social transformations resulting from the implementation
and diffusion of the new technologies of communication and information (NTCI).
- Based on the first two topics the innovative capacity of the Gender Research
for the future development of knowledge and the use of the new technologies
will be investigated.
The aim of this project is to provide the Austrian Ministry of science
and research with fundamental facts and justified reasonable perspectives
for future science & research policies in the Special Research Program
"Gender Studies". The focus is on the discussion of innovations and transformations
which are knowledge- and technology-based, especially on the new technologies.
Grounded on this aim the following questions are to be raised (not yet answered),
with the intention to identify interesting future research questions and
needs from a feminist perspective:
What theoretical approaches, concepts, and methods are highly promising
from the perspective of Gender Studies in order to get an reliable analysis
of the new kinds of transformations in society?
Will it be possible to transfer the experiences with participatory methods
of software development into other areas , e.g. into the area of medical
technologies, or not? Or how - by which changes and adaptations?
Will it be possible to adapt, and to use methodologies of technology assessment
in feminist assessments and gender research regarding technological and
What is the connection between the up to now - at least in German speaking
countries - two mutually exclusive fields of sociology of technology/technology
assessment and Gender Studies, and could these two still opposite fields
of research in the German speaking countries be correlated in particular
ways, perhaps even combined in a productive manner?
Content and aims:
Further questions are:
- Which approaches and aims of Gender Research reveal concrete options of
improvement in the sense of gender equality policies with a long term or
sustainable perspectives within the future development of science, technology,
- How can the relevant social problems and research questions of future
societietal developments in Europe be identified? (Here, sustainable or
long term perspectives include ecological, social, and economical aspects.).
- In the case that Gender Research is regarded as innovative not just only
for the analysis of the scientific-technically development of societies
but also for the future development and structure of societies, how can
this innovative capacity be supported?
- What is the level of Austrian research with respect to the international
level of Gender Research in these areas, and how can Austrian programs in
Gender Research become manifest and improved, in such a way that it does
enter a long-term improvement - seen from a feminist perspective - of societies
- In the sense mentioned above there will be developed research perspectives
for future European societies, and especially for the future society in
Austria, at a very high level. These perspectives could serve as guideline
for future public research programs in Gender Research and Gender Studies.
Prospective value of the outcome:
The prospective value of the outcome of this project is to provide Austrian
politics of science and research with the chance to get straight ahead - nationally
and internationally - with a highly qualified research in Gender Research
to top level science and research in that field.
Research director: Margarete Maurer.
Funding: Austrian Ministery of Education and Science
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