Digitized domestic violence: technology abuse is a feminist issue

Hopkins, Susan and Ostini, Jenny (2015) Digitized domestic violence: technology abuse is a feminist issue. In: Trans/forming feminisms: media, technology, identity, 23-25 Nov 2015, Dunedin, New Zealand.

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While internet privacy is a growing concern, there has been little social scientific work on how cyberstalking intersects with rising rates of domestic violence. New personal and easily accessible surveillance devices and software will change social life, and not always for the better. Feminist activism has a role to play in this space.

A rethinking of the relationship between technology and violence must extend to feminist theorising on digital cultures and the experience of gender, sex and power online. Established cybersafety campaigns tend to locate the problem with the victim rather than the perpetrator, assuming that in cyberspace, as in the physical world, women are responsible for reducing the risk of being attacked (rather than unpacking the power relations that sustain domestic and sexual violence in the first place).

A comprehensive understanding of (post)modern technology violence in contemporary social life must include a review of the use and misuse of internet enabled technologies between intimate partners. Effective intervention needs to address these concerns in socio-political contexts and in electronic, as well as physical, spaces. The interconnection between ‘private’ problems and wider political and social structures, can be used to address the systematic nature of domestic nature in contemporary Australian culture. Poststructuralist feminist understandings of the complex and contradictory nature of gender, sex and power in an information society have a lot to offer. Education programs need to move beyond a simplistic ‘skills’ development model, to consider the connections between gender, technology, power and technologies of power in the 21st century.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to paper at author's request (JMK 1/6/2016).
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 02:05
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2017 04:25
Uncontrolled Keywords: technology, violence, domestic violence, feminism, digital cultures, gender, power, politics, post-modernism, education
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200204 Cultural Theory
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200102 Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950202 Languages and Literacy
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/28147

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