Monday, February 19, 2007

Women and the Information Revolution

While reading chapter three entitled "America's First Information Revolution", I came across a theory that gravitated an immense amount of interest. Paul Starr enlightened me with knowledge of declining illiteracy rates for women during the 18th and 19th century. This was the period during the revolution which one can say was a liberation for women, fulfilling both their duties in society, which is passing down knowledge to their children, and their ability to become very indepedent by obtaining certain knowledge. This is emphasized on page 102 where Starr states "This transformation had a double effect because nit increased not only the communicative competence of women but also their ability to educate their children" (The Creation of the Media, p. 102). Within this section of the chapter, I would love to discuss the latter, which is women eventually becoming independent because of this revolutional phenomenon. Before, men believed that it was a bad idea for women to learn and read about what their brain couldn't handle, such as politics and religion; their role in society was to strictly conform to domesticity. However, women of the 18th, 19th and even the 20th century wanted to challenge these logics. Hence, as they obtained knowledge, they were able to think and act in different ways. These qualities may include the ability to think or reason, freedom of choice, realizing self-determination and becoming more socially equipped within the society. Ultimately, these qualities stand for independence, a very influential factor brought by the revolution.


At 11:29 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good substantive post with thoughtful discussion.

One of the most revolutionary aspects of the Protestant Reformation was the idea that women as well as men needed to be literate. Women were a very important part of protestant indoctrination. They taught their children to read the Bible. Female education was not seen as being as important as male education in our patriarchal society. Higher learning was pretty much reserved for men except for a small minority of elite women. The emeregence of an elite class of women intellectuals in the late 18th century marked the roots of the modern movement for equal rights for women. Access to books and newspapers helped to make this possible.


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