Through the Black Mirror: discourses on gender and technology in popular culture
Technology’s place in society is increasingly significant and debated. Although the inclusion of gender in discussions about technology is not novel, striking examples such as sexism (and racism) in artificial intelligence underscore the urgency of the debate. Popular sci-fi TV forms an important arena for the meaning-making on gender and technology for its audiences. Going beyond ‘gender essentialism’ and ‘technological determinism’, this study investigates gender and technology as represented in Black Mirror. As an anthology series, Black Mirror presents its audiences recognizable technologies and a diverse cast (in terms of gender and race). Employing a mixture of narrative and discourse analysis on all episodes of Black Mirror, how discourses on technology are gendered in Black Mirror is unravelled. Two dominant discourses – the Spectacle and the New Social Contract – show that beyond a manifest gender neutrality of technology, on a latent level patriarchal discourses are dominant in imagined future societies.
|Keywords||Black Mirror, science fiction, technology, gender, television, discourse analysis|
|Persistent URL||dx.doi.org/10.1386/cjcs_00011_1, hdl.handle.net/1765/126787|
|Journal||Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies|
Modugno, C, & Krijnen, A.F.M. (2020). Through the Black Mirror: discourses on gender and technology in popular culture. Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies, 12(1), 3–19. doi:10.1386/cjcs_00011_1