Learning occurs in many places outside of a school setting- it is ubiquitous. We may unknowingly integrate this hidden curriculum of new ideas into our lives. This is especially true when integrating ideas associated with computing.
According to Weiser (1991) ubiquitous learning means to “weave…[computing] into the fabric of everyday life until [these technologies] are indistinguishable”, this is especially true in Apple’s ad campaign “Get a Mac”; a campaign that ran from 2006-2010. There were more than 66 commercial spots produced (in addition to many alternative versions targeting international markets). These spots influenced how we perceive the Mac versus the PC— and viewers identified with it more closely because (male) humans were characterized as computers.
However, the representation that is omitted from these commercials is one that would show a women as the computer. While, women are present in these commercials they are shown as therapists, peripherals, and technicians, but they are not shown as the computer. This lack of representation reinforces the idea that computers are exclusively reserved for men (Santa Maria, 2009a). Although this perception is ultimately false, it is perpetuated by images in the media (Aronowitz, 1992; Nelson Knupfer & Rust, 1997; Reiley, 2006; Sofia, 1998). This paper undertakes a media analysis of these commercials and the way they represent gender.
|Keywords:||Education, Media, Gender, STEM, Hidden Curriculum|
Assistant Professor, Computer Information Systems Department, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY, USA
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Buffalo State College (SUNY), Buffalo, NY, USA