Although few dispute the computer's place as a pivotal twentieth century artefact, little agreement has emerged over whether the changes it has precipitated are generally positive or negative in nature, or whether we should be contemplating our future association with the computer more with enthusiasm or trepidation. Specifically with regard to the relationship between women and computers, a diverse body of commentary has embraced the views of those who have found grounds for expressing pessimism about this association and those who have favoured a more optimistic assessment of the current situation and its probable future development. This book undertakes a thorough evaluation of the legitimacy and predictive power of the optimistic commentary. Using a large body of original qualitative data, it interrogates the bases of what it identifies as three waves of optimism and in doing so provides answers to some of the key questions asked in this field today.

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