Reading Technology


This Study Guide prepared by:

Susan Smith Nash, Ph.D.

Elaine Bontempi, M.Ed.

Catherine Kerley


Learning Objectives


Upon successful completion of this chapter, the learner will be able to


            1.  Understand the ways that technological advances create opportunities and    barriers for economic access for various groups;

            2.  Explain how gender is problematized in the Internet;

            3.  Articulate the differences between well-designed and poorly designed           technological items;

            4.  Explain how cultural and social values are reflected in technology;

            5.  Explore case studies that deal with myths and fears connected with technology,         technological change, and human nature.


The Readings


Reading Technology (Intro)


  1. When we think of technology, it applies to
    1. computers.
    2. cars.
    3. biological warfare.
    4. genetically modified organisms.
    5. a and b only.
    6. all of the above.
  2. Technology
    1. benefits others.
    2. causes harm to others.
    3. is neither good nor bad, but its use is contingent upon the user.
    4. can be both good and bad.
  3. The word technology comes from the Greek word technae which means
    1. invention.
    2. advancement.
    3. art.
    4. machine.
  4. Technological advancements always make things easier for people.
    1. true
    2. false
  5. Technology impacts
    1. society.
    2. race.
    3. gender.
    4. class.
    5. all of the above.
  6. The World Wide Web affects
    1. communication.
    2. socialization.
    3. recreation.
    4. family.
    5. religion.
    6. all of the above.
  7. Technology affects
    1. the wealthy.
    2. white Americans.
    3. those in developed countries.
    4. computer nerds.
    5. men.
    6. all of the above.
  8. The digital divide refers to
    1. the relationship people have with technology.
    2. differences in access and use of technology between groups.
    3. the divide between adults and children in computer use.
    4. digital versus analogue.
  9. Technology has
    1. changed the way we work.
    2. changed the way we play.
    3. changed things in ways we may have never anticipated.
    4. blurred the lines between work and play.
    5. all of the above.
  10. An example of how technology has redefined work and play is
    1. the cell phone.
    2. the Internet.
    3. DVD players.
    4. all of the above.
    5. b and c only.



Author Biography

Po Bronson is a feature writer for Wired and has written about high-tech culture for the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes ASAP. His first novel, Bombardiers 1995, was translated into ten languages, became an international best-seller, and was described by Business Week as "perhaps the most entertaining depiction of greed on Wall Street ever to see print." His second novel, The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest 1997, was called "a smart, sassy fantasy" by the New York Times.  The Boston Herald added, "Ken Kesey would be proud."

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific

            1.  According to the author, working in Silicon valley is

                        a.  a waste of time.

                        b.  dangerous.

                        c.  a sport.

                        d.  a mistake.

            2.  Moving into the Silicon Valley may be compared to

                        a.  moving to New York City.

                        b.  the gold rush.

                        c.  moving to Hollywood.

                        d.  moving to Nashville.

                        e.  both b and c.

            3.  Zilly funded his startup by

                        a.  cashing in his CDs.

                        b.  playing the stockmarket.

                        c.  selling drugs.

                        d.  using his inheritance money.

            4.  Zilly’s strength is

                        a.  networking.

                        b.  risk taking.

                        c.  computer programming.

                        d.  sales.

            5.  "New money" is most likely to invest in

                        a.  charities.

                        b.  the arts.

                        c.  technology.

                        d.  the stockmarket.

            6.  According to Thierry, the only value system in the Silicon Valley is

                        a.  physical attractiveness.

                        b.  money.

                        c.  having a large home.

                        d.  competition.

            7.  In his article, Bronson wrote that it’s a natural thing to

                        a.  take risks.

                        b.  want to succeed.

                        c.  be bought.

                        d.  pay people off.

            8.  Thierry called America and the Silicon Valley

                        a.  the place where heroes are from.

                        b.  the place of clean cars.

                        c.  a very lonely place.

                        d.  all of the above.

                        e.  both b and c.

            9.  The people interviewed have in common

                        a.  a lot of tenacity.

                        b.  incredible luck.

                        c.  excellent connections.

                        d.  a lot of money to fall back on.

            10.  To Thierry, Americans are

                        a.  ruthless.

                        b.  spineless.

                        c.  robotic.

                        d.  heroes.

Before You Read

List five characteristics of individuals who beame emblematic of the boom.  How do these characteristics reinforce stereotypes?

After You Read

Given the collapse, do you think that the sacrifice and extreme financial risk was worth it?  Define entrepreneurship and technological entrepreneurship in your own words and terms.  Is entrepreneurship something you might aspire to try?

Web Links

About the author Po Bronson.



Po Bronson Website.



Andrew Leonard.  Searching for Silicon Soul.



Po Bronson.  The Programmers and the ABCDEFG Problem. 



Mark Robinson.  Valley Boy.            2.html


Author Biography


Donald A. Norman calls himself a “user advocate.” Business Week calls him a “cantankerous visionary”–cantankerous in his quest for excellence. Upside Magazine named him one of the “Elite 100” for 1999. Dr. Norman brings a unique mix of the social sciences and engineering to bear on everyday products. He is a strong advocate of human-centered design and simplicity and perhaps best known for his book The Design of Everyday Things.  Dr. Norman is cofounder of the Nielsen Norman Group, an executive consulting firm that helps companies produce human-centered products and services. Norman is also Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University and serves as advisor and board member to numerous companies in high technology and consumer products and to nonprofit organizations in the area of policy and education. Norman has served as Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group at Apple Computer and as an executive at Hewlett Packard and UNext, a distance education company. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, where he was founding chair of the Department of Cognitive Science and chair of the Department of Psychology. He is a trustee of the Institute of Design in Chicago, Illinois. Norman received a bachelor of science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the master of science degree from the University of Pennsylvania, both in electrical engineering. His doctorate, from the University of Pennsylvania, is in psychology. In 1995, he received an honorary degree from the University of Padua, Italy.


Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific


            1.  Norman suggests that the reason we put up with infuriating and complicated

                        technology is because

                        a.  we are lazy.

                        b.  we enjoy the challenge.

                        c.  it promises to do everything.

                        d.  we have no choice in the matter.

            2.  Norman’s article is an attempt to

                        a.  vent his frustration about design.

                        b.  offer suggestions for design principles.

                        c.  encourage people to boycott technology.

                        d.  encourage people to return to a “simple” life.

            3.  Examples that Norman uses in his article are the designs of

                        a.  car door handles.

                        b.  thermostats.

                        c.  video cassette recorders.

                        d.  all of the above.

            4.  According to the article, designers must

                        a.  design devices that are manually operated.

                        b.  provide clear instructions.

                        c.  avoid adding features that make a device more complicated.

                        d.  design devices with more control buttons.

            5.  Designers must also

                        a.  pay attention to the limits of memory.

                        b.  keep in mind physical abilities and motor skills.

                        c.  practice neither of the above.

                        d.  practice both of the above.

            6.  People who use every day devices should

                        a.  pay attention to visual hints.

                        b.  know what kinds of things they can do with everyday objects.

                        c.  know how necessary actions should be completed.

                        d.  practice all of the above.

            7.  A device’s controls should be

                        a.  limited.

                        b.  visible.

                        c.  direct

                        d.  all of the above.

            8.  “Natural mapping” refers to

                        a.  controls being in appropriate shapes.

                        b.  appropriate placement of controls.

                        c.  the way information is mapped on a brain.

                        d.  comparison of the human brain to a computer.

            9.  Natural mapping can

                        a.  eliminate confusion.

                        b.  reduce need for labels.

                        c.  eliminate need for directions.

                        d.  all of the above.

            10.  Good designers can

                        a.  reduce confusion.

                        b.  anticipate errors.

                        c.  simplify designs.

                        d.  accomplish all of the above.


Before You Read


List five badly designed items in the average car.  How would you redesign them?  Why do you think they were designed as they were in the first place?


After You Read


How does poor design help maintain a division between the technologically savvy and the average person on the street?  Does infuriating design reflect the designers' unconscious desire to keep themselves as a part of a unique group?  Why or why not?


Web Links


Don Norman’s JND Website.



Don Norman. Human-Centered Design.



Russell Hoffman.  Interview with Donald Norman.


Exclusive Interview with Donald Norman:  We Talk to Donald Norman on Learner-Centered Design and Other Relevant Issues. February 15, 2001.


John Rheinfrank. A Conversation with Don Norman.



Michael J. Martinez.  Making the Box Go Away.




Author Biography

Elizabeth Weil is a freelance writer who lives in Chicago.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific

  1. After the 1997 Computer Game Developers Conference, the conclusion on what girls wanted in a video game was
    1. that they wanted something that makes them feel.
    2. that they wanted something good.
    3. that they wanted something a fourteen-year-old boy does not want.
    4. unclear.
  2. Based upon the attendance at the Santa Clara Convention and sessions on computer games for girls,
    1. there is a limited audience for developing games for girls.
    2. there is a large audience interested in developing games for girls.
    3. there is an equal audience interested in developing games for girls as there is for boys.
    4. none of the above apply.
  3. Factors that have affected the sale of video games to girls in the past include the premise that
    1. girls seem to be technophobic.
    2. most games are developed to target a male audience.
    3. girls just aren’t interested in video games.
    4. both a and b apply.
  4. According to Heidi Dangelmaier, the girl game business is
    1. a booming market.
    2. a doomed enterprise.
    3. an untapped market.
    4. none of the above.
  5. The computer game business seems to follow a trend towards targeting male audiences.  This trend can also be seen in
    1. television shows.
    2. movies.
    3. children’s stories.
    4. all of the above.
  6. Dangelmaier found that the reason girls were walking away from games was that
    1. the games were too competitive in nature, which was more appealing to males.
    2. the games were not dealing with subjects that females were interested in.
    3. the games had to be approved by males first to get produced, and they didn’t appeal to these males.
    4. all of the above apply.
  7. Response games do not fulfill the needs of
    1. females.
    2. nonadolescent males.
    3. effeminate males.
    4. both a and b.
  8. Females and nonadolescent males prefer games that involve
    1. blowing things up.
    2. relationships.
    3. blockpiles.
    4. both b and c.
  9. Dangelmaier’s main point is that
    1. it’s a patriarchal world.
    2. females' needs are overlooked.
    3. the gaming industry is dictated by hard core male gamers.
    4. females are an underserved population.
  10. The producer of Origin systems said the reason he doesn’t make games for females is that
    1. he doesn’t like girls.
    2. he doesn’t make games for left-handed people, so why should he make games for women.
    3. he doesn’t make games for handicapped people, so why should he make games for women.
    4. he doesn’t make games for minority populations.


Before You Read


Name two video games that you have seen girls playing.  Do they tend to be pattern games such as Galaga, or "cute" games such as Super Mario Brothers, or are they something else?  Why?


After You Read


Imagine that you have been asked to design a girls' computer game.  What would you include?  Describe the game, how it works, the design, the characters, the setting, the objectives.  Why would this appeal more to girls than to boys?


Web Links


Most Girls Tuning Out Video Game.


Fair Play? Violence, Gender, and Race in Video Games.



Girls and Video Games.



Computers and Video Games.



What Girls Want: Female Spectators and Interactive Games.




Author Biography

Dale Spender is the author and editor of over thirty books including Feminist Theorists: Three Centuries of Key Women Thinkers; For the Record: The Making and Meaning of Feminist Knowledge; Man Made Language; Invisible Women: The Schooling Scandal; Knowledge Explosion: Generations of Feminist Scholarship; Reflecting Men at Twice Their Natural Size; Scribbling Sisters; The Writing or the Sex?or Why You Don't Have to Read Women's Writing to Know It's No Good; and Mothers of the Novel: 100 Good Women Writers Before Jane Austin.  Her most recent book is Nattering on the Net: Women, Power and Cyberspace.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific

1.      According to the author, most scribes were

a.       handicapped.

b.      monks.

c.       nuns.

d.      both b and c.

2.      Copyists who changed text were considered to be

a.       creative.

b.      corrupting.

c.       heretics.

d.      blasphemers.

3.      The role of the church was to

a.       guard text.

b.      preserve text.

c.       keep text pure.

d.      do all of the above.

4.      The purpose behind conducting church business in Latin was

a.      to maintain control of information.

b.      to prevent the general public from reading about God.

c.       to manipulate and control the general public.

d.      to extort money from churchgoers.

5.      In order to read religious manuscripts prior to 1450, you had to

a.       be able to read Latin.

b.      enter the church’s education system.

c.       be Catholic.

d.      both a and b.

6.      The church controlled the general public by

a.       force.

b.      controlling information.

c.       ensuring that the majority of the public remained illiterate.

d.      fear.

7.      Printing presses began to appear in Europe around

a.      1450.

b.      1490.

c.       1500.

d.      1510.

8.      After the Reformation, the population who changed the most was

a.       former clergy members.

b.      the elderly.

c.       the young.

d.      monks and nuns.

9.      The incentive for becoming literate included

a.       the number of books published.

b.      breaking free from the grips of the church.

c.       becoming a radical.

d.      both a and b.

10.  Just as it was inconceivable to scribes and copyists that sacred texts would become irrelevant and obsolete,

a.       it was inconceivable that the church would lose control.

b.      it was inconceivable that the church could ever be corrupt.

c.       it was inconceivable that people would no longer read and speak Latin.

d.      it was inconceivable that books could become marginalized.


Before You Read


When you think of early ways of maintaining control over information, what do you envision?  What were some of the methods?  When did this happen?


After You Read


How is control over information attempted today?  Is it possible to completely control information flows?  Can one restrict or limit it?  How does the Internet change things?  Give specific examples.


Web Links


"Review of Dale Spender’s Nattering on the Net."


Dale Spender.  “Building Up or Dumbing Down?  A Keynote Address to the Communities Networking/Networking Communities Conference,” February 27, 1998.   


Susan Bryant.  “Review of Nattering on the Net.”   


Sophia Mubarak. “Woman Power and Cyberspace: Dale Spender.”



Review of Nattering on the Net.





Author Biography

Langdon Winner is Professor of Political Science in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NewYork.  Among his books are Autonomous Technology, and The Whale and The Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology.  Winner received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. He has taught at The New School for Social Research, M.I.T., College of the Atlantic, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, and has lectured widely throughout the United States and Europe. From 1991 to 1992 he was visiting research fellow at the Center for Technology and Culture at the University of Oslo, Norway.  A past president of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, Winner is also a rock critic.  He was contributing editor at Rolling Stone in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific

  1. The mystery house refers to
    1. the Amityville Horror house.
    2. the Remington house.
    3. the Winchester house.
    4. the Smith and Wesson house.
  2. The mystery house was constructed
    1. as a dream home for a newlywed couple.
    2. based upon advice gained through consultation with spirits.
    3. as a retirement home for an eccentric retired prune farmer.
    4. as a museum for techies.
  3. The Silicon Valley was at one time known for
    1. grape orchards.
    2. prune orchards.
    3. orange groves.
    4. pumpkin patches.
  4. The inventions and fortunes of the Silicon Valley
    1. sprang up overnight.
    2. took over four centuries to develop.
    3. took about four decades to mature.
    4. took only four years to take off.
  5. Stanford University is modeled
    1. on the mystery house.
    2. on a business firm.
    3. on a research park.
    4. on an amusement park.
  6. The crucial moment in the Silicon Valley’s rise occurred
    1. in 1956.
    2. when William Shockley decided to move to Palo Alto.
    3. when William Shockley started his own company.
    4. when all of the above happened.
  7. To understand why it proved difficult to duplicate a formula so successful for Stanford, one must take into account
    1. the advisc that Mrs. Winchester received during a séance in Boston.
    2. the financial backing of the U.S. military.
    3. the power of angry farmers.
    4. the corruption of the U.S. government.
  8. The true risk takers in the development of the Silicon Valley were
    1. the U.S. military.
    2. individual entrepreneurs.
    3. ordinary American taxpayers.
    4. large corporations such as Bell Laboratories.
  9. The Silicon Valley’s flair for adaptability is expressed in
    1. the mystery house.
    2. tilt up buildings.
    3. a monorail going through Palo Alto.
    4. the number of chain stores in the area.
  10. To gain entrance into the exclusive community of the Silicon Valley, one must
    1. be a white male.
    2. have a B.S. in electrical engineering.
    3. have a degree from a prestigious university.
    4. have both b and c.


Before You Read


When you think of Silicon Valley, what comes to mind?  What do you think the lifestyle would be like there?  Why?


After You Read


What are the various "messages" in the way that technology unfolded in Silicon Valley?  How does the history of Silicon Valley reflect on our society and our priorities?


Web Links


Summary and Commentary on Langdon Winner’s Silicon Valley Mystery House.



Review of The Whale and The Reactor.



Interview with Langdon Winner:  Digital Technology’s Role in Good Education.



One on One with Langdon Winner, September 21, 2001.



Cyberlibertarian Myths and Prospects for Community.



Author Biography

Lisa Nakamura is Assistant Professor of English at Sonoma State University, where she teaches postcolonial literature and critical theory. She is coeditor of Race and Cyberspace Routledge, and is also working on a book tentatively entitled Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet. Her recent work on race and the Internet appears in CyberReader, Cyberculture, Race in Cyberspace, and Reload: Redefining Women and Cyberculture.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific

  1. The article discusses
    1. racial diversity on the Internet.
    2. racial and ethnic differences and its visual and text representations in print and television.
    3. enhancing racial diversity through the Internet.
    4. a and b only.
  1. The dream of ideal travel common to networking advertisements constructs a destination that looks like
    1. an African safari.
    2. a trip to the Amazonian rainforest.
    3. a camel caravan in the Egyptian desert.
    4. all of the above.
  1. An ad from Compaq that appeared in the Chronicle for Higher Education
    1. depicted a sandstone mesa.
    2. a coral reef.
    3. a tropical rainforest.
    4. the Himalayans.
  1. Another ad depicted children admiring the networked
    1. Himalayans.
    2. Australian outback.
    3. Saharan desert.
    4. tropical rainforest.
  1. Virtual Reality suggests
    1. that the mind can play tricks on you.
    2. that imagination is reality.
    3. that the lines between authentic and simulated are blurred .
    4. all of the above.
  1. Two ads produced by IBM featured
    1. distinct racial disparity.
    2. ambiguous ethnic figures.
    3. an Indian and African on an elephant.
    4. a monkey and a paintbrush.
  1. In the ad showing the red-headed boy and the African boy, the African boy is depicted
    1. as the teacher.
    2. as the learner.
    3. as unspoiled and authentic.
    4. in a racial and stereotypical manner.
  2. Coca Cola’s slogan from the 1970’s and 1980’s was
    1. "the one."
    2. "be a pepper."
    3. "I’d like to teach the world to sing."
    4. "the uncola."
  1. The notion of the computer-enabled global village
    1. links exotic travel and tourism.
    2. depicts people of all colors living together.
    3. depicts people of all faiths living together.
    4. all of the above.
  1. The fantasy terrain of advertisement represents
    1. the exotic "other".
    2. ensures us of our own identities.
    3. none of the above.
    4. a and b only.

Before You Read

When you visit sites such as The National Geographic's website, do you sense that the world is connected via the Internet?  Does it occur to you that the majority of images of nonindustrialized nations may be provided by industrialized nations' inhabitants; thus we are seeing nonindustrialized nations through the spin of industrialized eyes.  What are the implications?

After You Read

Do you believe there are any ethical problems in the commodification of a culture, in making a place seem exotic in order to entire tourists to visit?  What might the ethical problems be?

Web Links

Keeping It Virtually Real.

Through White Eyes:  The Packaging of People and Places in the World of the Travel Brochure.”


Race In/For Cyberspace:  Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet.


Cyberculture Working Group.


Review of Race in Cyberspace.  

Scholars Question the Image of the Internet as a Race-Free Utopia, September 21, 2001. 
Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific
               1.  According to the author, much of civilization has been forged by
                               a.  angry patriarchs.
                               b.  frustrated women.
                               c.  mothers and fathers.
                               d.  money and sex.
               2.  If you're unhappy with your body, but still want to attract a woman, what 
                                              does the author recommend?
                               a.  Don't bother with the gym.
                               b.  Attach some digital scans of an Abercrombie & Fitch model and 
                                              pose as someone else altogether.
                               c.  Talk to the woman of your dreams in a chat room, and turn on the 
                                              switches in her cybermind.
                               d.  All of the above apply.
               3.  Virtual sex can never substitute for reality.  However, according to the 
                                              author, what is appealing is
                               a.  the tantalizing fantasy of actually meeting their cybermate 
                                              some day.
                               b.  using Adobe Photoshop to create the ideal man or woman.
                               c.  imagining a virtual heart-shaped hot tub in a resort in the Poconos 
                               d.  cross-dressing.
               4.  The Internet allows one to explore homosexual tendencies by
                               a.  indulging in furtive couplings in public restrooms.
                               b.  logging on to the Internet in a chat room.
                               c.  ordering size 14 stilettos.
                               d.  eating chocolates while drinking a cinnamon cappuccino.
               5.  According to the author, the new technology
                               a.  may make individuals addicted to cyberporn.
                               b.  may cause individuals to rack up huge credit card debt.
                               c.  might actually release our natural sexual tension and help us 
                                              sustain the fictions and duties of bourgeois morality in 
                                              the rest of our lives.
                               d.  will change, and we will require more and more visual and 
                                              multimedia stimulation to avoid emotional pain.
               6.  The article assumes that delving into the world of cybersex
                               a.  has no negative consequences.
                               b.  can help individuals explore new identities.
                               c.  releases and fosters creativity.
                               d.  will demonstrate that all of the above are true.
               7.  This selection is a good example of which sort of essay?
                               a.  extended definition essay
                               b.  taking a position essay
                               c.  process essay
                               d.  comparison-contrast essay
               8.  The author fails to support his argument by neglecting to include the 
                                              following "evidence":
                               a.  statistics.
                               b.  expert opinions.
                               c.  case studies.
                               d.  all of the above.
               9.  The problem with persuasive texts that argue only from the author's own 
                                              point of view is that
                               a.  they do not acknowledge the other side or point of view in a serious 
                               b.  it is so obviously someone's personal opinion that it is easy for the 
                                              reader who disagrees to discredit it.
                              c.  the reader who agrees with it is frustrated by the lack of new 
                                              ground broken--it's only reinforcing the same old thing.
               10.  According to the author, Victorianism was
                               a.  not about suppressing vice.
                               b.  about separating vice completely from virtue.
                               c.  about relegating vice to a forbidden sphere.
                               d.  all of the above.
Before You Read
Do you think that visiting cybersex sites could be addictive?  Why?  How?  Support your position with testimonials and examples.
After You Read
Have you ever known anyone who met in a chat room, established a virtual relationship, then met each other in real time, face-to-face?  What was it like?  What happened?
Web Links
Cybersex and Sexual Addiction.
Can People Really Get Addicted to Cybersex?
Cybersex:  The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth in 2001:  A Cyber Ethnography.
Net Paedophile Threat Highlighted.
Author Biography
Although Patricia and Frederick McKissack grew up knowing each other as teenagers, it was not until they had both graduated from Tennessee State University that romance blossomed and they were married.  Patricia's degree was in English, after which she started working as a teacher, while Frederick's was in Civil Engineering.  He followed his own profession for ten years.  Their first book together was published in 1984 and since then they have continued to work to make history come alive for children, and to inform a wide audience of the contributions made to civilization by Africans and African Americans.  They have collaborated on many books as well as writing individually, and were jointly awarded the Coretta Scott King Award in 1990 for A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter, and again in 1993 for Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?  When they are not writing, this husband-and-wife team likes to work in the garden in St. Louis, Missouri.
Multiple-Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific
               1.  This article was originally published in
                               a.  1980.
                               b.  2002.
                               c.  1998.
                               d.  1995.
               2.  According to Philip Bereano, a professor of technical communications, ____ 
                                              of African American households do not have telephones.
                               a.  3 percent
                               b.  25 percent
                               c.  the majority
                               d.  18 percent
               3.  Obtaining information without access to the Internet is problematic because
                               a.  government officials are using the Web more often to disseminate 
                               b.  political parties are holding major online events.
                               c.  companies are using the Web for making job announcements and 
                                              collecting resumes.
                               d.  all of the above are happening.
               4.  According to Jon Katz, what is the real moral issue about computers?
                               a.  ethical distribution of technology
                               b.  cyberporn
                               c.  cyber-stalking
                               d.  identity fraud
               5.  According to Katz, the culture avoids
                               a.  being effected by European-influenced socialism.
                               b.  the complex and expensive issues by focusing on the silly ones.
                               c.  new low-cost housing projects.
                               d.  providing high-speed Internet access of housing projects and 
                                              sufficient library resources because the underclass will just 
                                              use them for high-level drug dealing.
               6.  Computer literacy is considered
                               a.  an indispensable part of the education process for many affluent 
                                              white schoolchildren.
                               b.  of questionable value in classrooms that have poor and 
                                              marginalized constituencies.
                               c.  already behind the times.
                               d.  both a and b.
               7.  Despite the trend to more "affordable" computers, a Markle Foundation 
                                              Bellcore Labs study shows that this may
                               a.  not be enough to help minorities merge onto the Information 
                               b.  hook more people on Internet gambling.
                               c.  cause more people to put up useless sebsites.
                               d.  not be enough to enable black entrepreneurs to take advantage of e-
               8.  According to journalist Tony Brown, with a computer
                               a.  you can waste a lot of time, but you will stay out of gangs.
                               b.  you can take any person from poverty to the middle class.
                               c.  you can't teach people new mindsets.
                               d.  you delude yourself into thinking that technology is all it takes, and 
                                              that support systems and intact families do not matter.
               9.  This article is a good example of
                               a.  an extended definition.
                               b.  taking a position.
                              c.  a process paper.
               10.  This paper does not include
                               a.  statistics.
                               b.  a personal testimonial or case study.
                               c.  quotes from experts.
                               d.  a clearly attenuated position.
Before You Read
What is the "digital divide"?  How does it affect you and the people in your community?
After You Read
Do you agree with this article, or do you think the author is going too far (or not far enough)?  Why?  What would you suggest as a remedy?
Web Links
Technology: The Cyberghetto.
Review of Cyberghetto or Cybertopia?
Bosah's Book Asks If the Internet Will Be Cyberghetto or Cybertopia.
Blacks' Internet Use Rising, February 14, 2001.
Digital Divide Revisited:  Study--Blacks Online More Likely to Appreciate Net's Value.
Student Paper – Mail Order Brides
Multiple Choice Questions
  1. Mail order bride websites
    1. challenge traditional ideas of dating.
    2. challenge the importance of face-to-face contact for developing intimacy.
    3. are against the law.
    4. are for people who can’t get a date.
    5. are all of the above
    6. are a and b only.
  1. In Internet dating
    1. people lie about themselves.
    2. child predators are everywhere.
    3. romance involves fantasy.
    4. people who cannot otherwise get a date communicate with each other.
  1. Electronic formats
    1. blur reality and simulation.
    2. are notorious for trickery and deceit.
    3. promote clearer communication.
    4. accomplish all of the above.
  1. Mail order bride websites are like
    1. virtual meat markets.
    2. virtual slave trade.
    3. legal prostitution.
    4. all of the above.
    5. none of the above.
  1. Online matchmaking sites are an interesting topic in studies in
    1. ethics.
    2. morals.
    3. communication.
    4. trust.
  1. According to the article, a problem with internet dating sites is
    1. that the descriptions of each person are self-reports and thus are biased.
    2. that they only deal with basic information and don’t provide information on one’s personality.
    3. that they are full of deception.
    4. all of the above.
    5. a and b only.
  1. According to Kenneth Gerger, the pastiche of personality is
    1. the essential self.
    2. a social chameleon.
    3. a social butterfly.
    4. a social wallflower.
  1. On the personal pages for the brides, they aim to show the bride’s character through
    1. a series of photos.
    2. a series of statements.
    3. a short autobiography.
    4. a series of questions and answers.
  1. Scholarly writers often include stories of
    1. online successful dating stories.
    2. online female sexual slavery.
    3. stories of cyber romance disappointment.
    4. all of the above.
  1. Online dating is often intertwined with
    1. sexual predatory behavior.
    2. romance.
    3. deception.
    4. all of the above.
Web Links 

Mail Order Brides.



Mail Order Orides Resource Guide and Online Forum.



Mail Order Brides and the Abuse of Immigrant Women.   


ABCs of Russian Women Mail Order Bride Advice.



Mail Order Bride Warehouse.



Mail Order Brides--Myth and Reality.



Separating Fact from Fiction about Mail Order Brides.



Internet Spurs Growth of Mail Order Brides. 


Mail Order Husbands.




Author Biography

Glen Martin is a staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle and has contributed to such magazines as Men's Journal, Discover, and Gourmet.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific

1.  The author encountered "Blue Snake's Lodge" and found it to be

a.   a seemingly valuable virtual shaman and Native American healing center.

b.   a place where Blue Snake offered a moving spiritual message, particularly          resonant where the dollar is kin and nature is becoming a vague memory.

c.   a phony charade.

d.   all of the above.

2.   The easy use of alternative personae

a.   lies at the heart of cyber culture.

b.   gives people a sense of freedom.

c.   opens the door to frauds and charlatans.

d.   provides all of the above.

3.   Blue Snake was

a.   a Chippewa-Abenaki alcoholic.

b.   an Eastern Shawnee tribal leader.

c.   an overweight one-sixteenth Potawatomi.

d.  a software consultant living in southern Ohio "about as Indian as Barbara Bush."

4.   The Native American community found Blue Snake to be

a.   inspirational, uplifting.

b.   a useful icon to use as a mascot for peddling bingo halls.

c.   repugnant and offensive.

d.   absurd, given the fact that he was really a security guard for a Chickasaw           gaming center located off the side of I-65.

5.  Native Americans say that their rituals are

a.   sacred.

b.   proprietary.

c.   owned only by themselves, and no one has the right to use them without             permission.

d.   all of the above.

6.   Blue Snake's "pipe ceremonies" are

a.   surrounded by offensive mumbo-jumbo.

b.   only accessible if someone submits credit card information over the        Internet.

c.   a cleverly disguised way to communicate messages to "snakeheads" who           are organizing illegal entry to the United States for citizens of mainland     China.

d.   healing and spiritually renewing for Native Americans, but silly to all       others.

7.  Blue Snake's Lodge was

a.   a website hosted on Geocities.

b.   a seminar offered on America Online.

c.   a web portal that booked you on Shaman Cruises in the Caribbean and             Shaman Sweat Lodge Tours in New Mexico.

d.   a site on UseNet.

8.   According to the article, when fake or "renegade" Indians have offered non-      Natives entry into the mystic realm of Native American spirituality, it

a.   drives Native traditionalists nuts.

b.   is cool because it helps tribes sell beadwork, handcrafts, leather goods, and       other items on the Internet.

c.   makes tribal members feel affirmed.

d.   helps Native Americans feel special and desirable instead of outgrouped,           marginalized, or stuck on the "rez."

9.  Sun Bear annoyed his fellow Cheyennes because they considered that in giving seminars all over the country, he was

a.   charging his expenses to the tribe.

b.   claiming to represent Arapahoes and not Cheyennes.

c.   prostituting the culture of his tribe.

d.   making people think that his standup comedy routine was typical of        Native behavior, and that alcoholism and glue-sniffing ont he reservations             was something to laugh about.

10. A problem with Native Americans' access to the Internet is

a.   it costs too much to subscribe to AOL.

b.   there is a lack of wiring in Indian country.

c.   it is against the religion of some tribes to communicate via the Internet    because it creates a mental bond with the screen and not an appropriate        guardian animal symbol.

d.   Alaskan Native American villages rely on it too much, and that makes    those who have seen their extreme dependence on e-mail and the Internet        nervous.

Before You Read

Do you think that people have the right to role-play and explore mystical traditions on the Internet?  Why or why not?

After You Read

Imagine that you were studying Tibetan Buddhism and someone asked you to lead a chatroom that had as its theme Tibetan Buddhism.  Do you think you have a right to do that, even though you are not Tibetan?  Why or why not?

Web Links

Testimony on Future of Internet Gaming National Indian Gaming Association.   

Indian Gaming: A Bibliography.                                      

Swimming with the Online Card Sharks” 

House Panel Set to Vote on Internet Gaming Curbs.

Kahnawakee Gaming Commission Calls for Review.

Strangers in the “Myst” of Video Gaming: Ethics and Representation.             tml

The Ethics of Gaming.    


Author Biography

Brenda Danet is a sociologist and communication scholar specializing in research on communication and culture on the Internet. Originally from the United States, she has lived in Israel for many years, where she was on the faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and held the Danny Arnold Chair in Communications. In 2000 she retired early from the university and now divides her time between New Haven, Connecticut, and Jerusalem. During 2000-2002 she is a visiting fellow in sociology at Yale University.

Multiple Choice Questions: Comprehension/Chapter/reading-specific

1.   Gender is

a.   a social construct.

b.   the same thing as sex--you're either male or female.

c.   a set of behaviors, attitudes, codes, and interactions that society develops          in response to sex.

d.   a and c only.

2.   According to the author, many people who have never before been particularly interested in "drag" or in "passing" or "cross-dressing" as a member of the            opposite sex are

a.   getting sex change operations.

b.   experimenting extensively with gender identity in typed encounters on    the Internet.

c.   ordering fishnet stockings and size 13 or higher platform sandals on the Internet.

d.   filled with shame and remorse.

3.  Ursula LeGuin's 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness is a "thought-experiment"         about

a.   the possibility of genuine cultural as well as biological androgyny.

b.   the future of the solar system.

c.   space travel to Mars, with all-women crews.

d.   artificial intelligence that is based on gender extremes.

4.   According to the author, when cross-dressing or cross-gender dressing occurs, it           is accompanied by

a.   symbolic qualifications.

b.   contradictions.

c.   jibe.

d.   all of the above.

5.   Women trying to "dress for success" in the business world are told to

a.   wear dark colors.

b.   wear suits, but to add secondary details which mark them as         "feminine".

c.   speak in a deep, masculine tone.

d.   use sex as a weapon.

6.   According to the author, so powerful are the forces at work in the social            construction of gender that when we encounter strangers whose gender cues are             ambiguous,

a.   we struggle to classify them as one or another.

b.   we ask ourselves if the person really looks like a person of that gender.

c.   we are shocked when we are deceived and fall for the appearance of    things.

d.   we experience all of the above.

7.   Nicknames echo the two great principles in nature:

a.   the principle of camouflage and the principle of conspicuous marking.

b.   the principle of camouflage and the principle of deliberate transparency.

c.   the principle of selective socialization and the principle of conspicuous    marking.

d.   groupism and individualism.

8.   In role-playing games, individuals can have

a.   one gender, and they have to stick with their choice.

b.   a gender-free experience because there are no genders in role-playing.

c.   an amazing variety of genders.

d.   problems due to stalking and lurking.

9.   In the early 1990s, a New York Jewish male psychiatrist in his fifties played a    female called "Talkin' Lady" on Compuserve and created an elaborate persona of    a woman who had been in a car accident in which her fiance had been killed.             When it was revealed that this was not true, individuals who had believed the     persona was real were

a.   relieved that the tragedy was not real.

b.   angry with the psychiatrist.

c.   in love with "Talkin' Lady" because she was so brave.

d.   determined to keep the persona of "Talkin' Lady" alive as a tribute to the           spirit of courage and creativity.

10. The author has formulated a number of questions for the purpose of

a.   exposing people who falsify their gender identities.

b.   figuring out what linguistic and other features characterize the attempt to             be neuter.

c.   conducting future research.

d.   both b and c.

Before You Read

Have you ever participated in a chatroom and pretended to be a person of the opposite gender?  What was it like?  Describe the experience.

After You Read

Go to a chatroom and participate for a minimum of thirty minutes.  Did you find yourself making assumptions about the genders of the people in the chatroom?  What mental images came up in response to the nicknames and their way of expressing themselves?

Web Links

Brenda Danet.                                        

Gender Differences in Computer-Mediated Communication:  Findings and Implications.           

Paradigms and Perversions: A Woman’s Place in Cyberspace.    

Gender and Computer Ethics in the Internet Age.   

Digital Lifestyle for Women.

Visual Analysis     

Laura Croft in Tombraider.                                                                    

Essay Questions:

1.  Is Tombraider a video game that girls are likely to enjoy?  Why or why not?  Support your position with at least five explanations.

2.  Interview ten teenage girls and ask them if they relate to the character of Laura Croft.  Why or why not?  Explain their responses and suggest how they help explain the culture at large and trends and attitudes among teenagers.

The Matrix Reloaded.


Essay Questions

1.  Analyze the photograph.  What is the woman doing? Does she seem to be in control of technology, or is it controlling her?  How do you know?

2.  How does this image reflect changing ideas about the nature of women’s roles in a technological society?  How does this differ from, for example, images from the original television series Star Trek or movies such as Barbarella?

The new iMac.

The New iMac.


Essay Questions

1.  Does the new iMac screen seem to be friendly or unfriendly to the user?  Explain why or why not.

2.   What messages are embodied in the design of the new iMac monitor?  What does it say or communicate about innovation and people who prefer this versus monitors for its mainstream competitors, Windows-based computers?




Alien Autopsy.



Essay Questions

1.  Do you think the image of the “alien autopsy” is real?  Would you like it to be?  Why or why not?

2.  What are the visual clues in the image that bring to mind the idea of a government conspiracy?  How are such images and ideas perpetuated via the Internet?

Winchester Mystery House.

Essay Questions

1.  When you see the structure of the Winchester Mystery House from an aerial view, what does it suggest to you about the nature of expansion, particularly if it is an individual’s unplanned, spontaneous building project?  Do you like the unruly nature of it? Does it seem more creative than a more straightforward building project?

2.  Look at the organization of the Winchester Mystery House. In what ways does the structure of this echo that of the Worldwide Web, with its decentralized nature and loosely connected interlacings and clusters of servers and hubs?  How does the Winchester Mystery House located in Silicon Valley function as a metaphor for the development of the Internet?


Read and Respond

Paranoia for Fun and Profit.

The Geeks and the Aliens.

Kidnapped by Aliens? Exploring the Alien Abduction Phenomenon.

Discussion Question

How would you explain the heightened interest in alien abductions, extraterrestrials, and conspiracy theories, since the advent of the Internet? Explore three separate case studies or examples of how the Internet assists in the dissemination of such stories, and suggest what their social or cultural significance might be.


Forbidden Technology.   

Where Have Women Gone and Will They Be Returning?   

Sexing the Machine.                    

Mining Data on Mutilations, Beatings, Murders.

The Day the Brands Died.          

I went to Brand Camp and all I got was this dumb snack food epiphany.    

George Soros: The Man Who Bought the World.

Andrew Leonard.  “The Technothrill is Gone.”

Musician to Napster Judge:  Let My Music Go.    Goes to War.