18.162 metaphors of hard and soft

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 07:50:19 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 162.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 07:21:16 +0100
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: sexism in the vocabulary of disciplinarity

My thanks to Pat Moran for the reference to Spender, Roly Sussex for the
reference to Geert Hofstede's stuff and to Patrick Durusau for the
remembered sentence. This sentence, about which I have asked before, is is
attributed to Gregory Bateson without source by James Funaro,

and by Bonnie Nardi, "Use of Ethnographic Methods in Design and
Evaluation", Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction, ed. Helander and
Landauer (1997: 363). My question is about the cultural resonances of
calling sciences "hard", not about how to avoid bad language. Meanwhile I
have turned up Evelyn Fox Keller, Reflections on Gender and Science. New
Haven, CT & London: Yale University Press, 1985, and Secrets of
Life/Secrets of Death: Essays on Language, Gender and Science. New York &
London: Routledge, 1992. More for the pile welcome, esp. items that deal
specifically with the hard vs soft metaphors.


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Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
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Received on Wed Aug 25 2004 - 02:58:12 EDT

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