Our understanding of the e-society should incorporate the case of at-home teleworking because of its implications for the use of ubiquitous ICTs in the home environment, work relations and gender issues. Rhetoric surrounding the benefits of telework impinge on promises of increased freedom, reduced burden, and ‘flexibility’ from an employees perspective. In order to establish the validity of such claims it is important to examine how at-home telework entails a reconfiguration of the home-work boundary. The substantial impacts on women’s role in the family such a renegotiation produces has implications for gender issues if we identify the oppression of women as located in the function they perform within the privatized family unit. By presenting a Marxist-inspired analysis of the family, explaining what constitutes women’s oppression, how this relates to work outside the home, and what a vision of emancipation entails, we develop a critique of proposed advantages for women home workers. Not only do we question tele-working’s ability to deliver on the promises made on its behalf; we show how this sociotechnical innovation may in fact represent a regressive step. In conclusion, we underline the contribution of this paper to research on the societal concerns as an intersection of the working sphere and family life that are brought together by ICTs.
Wilson, Melanie and Greenhill, Anita, "Flexibility and Gender in the eSociety: Marxist Theory Applied to At Home Telework" (2005). ECIS 2005 Proceedings. 33.