Selling women on PDAs from "Simply Palm" to "Audrey": How Moore's law met Parkinson's law in the kitchen

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Abstract

This essay investigates key moments in the history of personal digital assistant (PDA) marketing to women. Analyzing promotional texts for three PDAs that received considerable press coverage from 1999 to 2001, this essay explores the cultural significance of the convergence of anxieties about women's place in the gendered division of labor with the computer industry's changing marketing imperatives. Drawing on an array of promotional texts, including news articles, press releases, promotional Web sites, and ads appearing in newspapers and magazines, this paper tells the story of how the computer industry aimed to sell smaller, faster computing devices to women while promising to mediate and thus reproduce women's overwork as paid and familial laborers. After experimenting with the PDA as a sexy fashionable gadget for working women, marketers approached women as mothers with "Audrey," an Internet appliance designed for the kitchen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-390
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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