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Gender and labor in Desk Set

by Critical Commons Manager

A perverse Hollywood interpretation of the gender dynamics of first generation of corporate computing is in evidence in the IBM sponsored Desk Set (1957). Hepburn's Bunny Watson (transparently named after IBM founder and CEO Thomas J. Watson), plays the head of the research department in a large corporation where two computer systems are being installed to manage the accounting and research efforts of the company. Desk Set reflects the anxieties of workers who feared being "replaced" by machines - exacerbated when the computer installed in the accounting office "mistakenly" sends pink slips to all employees.

A computer threatens to disrupt the workplace in Desk Set

A computer deepens the divide between genders as a research department becomes computerized

from Desk Set (1957)
Creator: Walter Lang
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Posted by Critical Commons Manager