November 20, 2014

04_networks and agents

I don’t know how to fit the gender topic with the sprawl post human landscape, but maybe the ideology of garden city could be a way. The boomburbs city that I am describing seemed to have been an El Dorado for families, a happy place to live with children. The connection with the garden was more an issue with playground than a relation with the wild nature aspect. Every facilities, school and housing estate created small communities in the way to make the women life easier. Children were able to play together in the garden. It was an isolated area connected to the working man world by the road networks establish by the new technology of cars. It was also a kind of women city for housewife life.

What has the new network technology changed ? Is it because the city isn’t an ideal anymore that people left or that the information technologies have been an actor of this changing ?

This is a tricky issue without statistic figures I don’t have in my survey for the moment. The thing I know is that during this last decade, new inhabitants prefer to establish far away from the metropole work area, a bit further than Cournon. On one hand the rentals are lower and the living environement more picturesque, on the second hand the traffic network is efficient. But maybe the web has influenced as well this changing. The issue of distance is shifting, but probably not resolving the connexion matter which is important in the countryside area, nevertheless new things happened and could change the shape of the cities. As Judy Wajcman said in 2006, this technology influences socialisation but also the work world. One example of this changing is the way to supply these isolated houses. In this kind of city the supermarkets are most of the time accessible by car and the houses are big enough to have storage to make massive errands. With IT, web shopping was introduced. This isn’t resolving the abundant transportation ways to supply the houses, but it changes the shape of the supermarket which are not anymore a big area where people spend time, but a smaller storage with a parking plot where people are supposed to stay maximum fifteen minutes.

Also we can hope that the industrial area could consume a bit less ground, and the social time sharing found another context.

In France where the gender equality seems to be slowly in progress, this task is now divided into both organisation or physical. Man could be involved in this task by less managing ways.

Nowadays access to information is neither a man nor a city exclusivity. With IT no woman have a reductive access to be informed and that in the big metropole, a garden city or in countryside.

/Marie Delfau

networks and agents:

Bruno Latour, ‘Technology is Society Made Durable’, in John Laws, ed. The Sociology of Monsters: Essays in Power, Technology and Domination, London: Routledge, 1991.

Judy Wajcman, ‘TechnoCapitalism Meets TechnoFeminism: Women and Technology in a Wireless World, in Labour and Industry, vol. 16, No. 3, April-May 2006, pp. 7-20.


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