Design, Innovation and Software: The Impact of Gender and Language

Ashcroft, Alice and Blair, Lynne and Rouncefield, Mark (2024) Design, Innovation and Software: The Impact of Gender and Language. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

[thumbnail of 2024AshcroftPhD]
Text (2024AshcroftPhD) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (0B)
[thumbnail of 2024AshcroftPhD]
Text (2024AshcroftPhD) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (0B)
[thumbnail of 2024AshcroftPhD]
Text (2024AshcroftPhD) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (0B)
[thumbnail of 2024AshcroftPhD]
Text (2024AshcroftPhD) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (0B)
[thumbnail of 2024AshcroftPhD]
Text (2024AshcroftPhD) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (0B)
[thumbnail of 2024AshcroftPhD]
Text (2024AshcroftPhD) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (0B)
[thumbnail of 2024AshcroftPhD]
Text (2024AshcroftPhD)
2024AshcroftPhD.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (4MB)

Abstract

This thesis explores gendered communication dynamics in group settings through a series of case studies, with implications for improving collaboration, creativity, and inclusion. This research combines empirical examination of gender influences, methodological application of linguistic techniques, conceptual arguments for diversity, and design perspectives on participatory processes. The empirical contributions uncover subtle gender differences in workshops and more balanced participation in industry teams. A pilot study suggested further investigating gender patterns, leading to a discourse analysis of an innovation workshop that reveals differences in language practices and group interactions by gender. This data was also used to analyse Hedging usage but finds no statistically significant differences, prompting more nuanced contextual analysis. Observations of software design meetings show more participation across genders versus student groups, aligning with research on gender in organisational contexts. Methodologically, the thesis outlines combining qualitative approaches like thematic analysis, feminist frameworks, and conversation analysis to uncover gender and language issues in computer science design meetings. This interdisciplinary lens enables nuanced insights. Conceptually, the thesis emphasises diversity alone is insufficient without empowering marginalised voices through respect and participation opportunities. Gendered language can perpetuate biases if unaddressed. Arguments are made, supporting existing research, that software development must involve diverse stakeholders throughout. For design, the thesis advocates viewing it not as acting upon users, but as an emergent, participatory social process. Fostering inclusion and communication is vital for human-centered design. While limitations exist, the multiple perspectives provide valuable guidance for improving collaboration, creativity, and participation across computer science settings. Further research is needed to deepen these complex insights. Overall, the thesis contributes to furthering understanding of gender dynamics with implications for more ethical and inclusive practices.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
ID Code:
220956
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
04 Jun 2024 14:50
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
15 Jun 2024 23:40