ERIC Number: ED418847
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-14
Reference Count: N/A
The Myth of Meritocracy and Delusions of Equity: Cultural Impediments to Diversity in Natural Science Programs.
Jones, Leslie S.
In an effort to determine why there is continued scarcity of all women and of men of color in the sciences, this study turns the lens of the social sciences onto social aspects of the sciences. Interviews with academic science faculty examined gender and racial/ethnic issues in the professional domain of a variety of scientists for clues as to how the culture of science might influence demographic participation in science programs. As a study of culture with an explicitly sociopolitical agenda, this study adheres most closely to the traditions of Critical Ethnography. Interviews were conducted with 34 practicing scientists sampled demographically across science and applied science fields with respect to sex and racial/ethnic background. The interviewees were half female, half male, half Caucasian, and half people of color (from several ethnic groups). Results indicate that the scientific method and its associated worldview are the most readily identifiable source of the problem of minority representation in the sciences. Scientists believe they can remove subjectivity from their treatment of people, because they are convinced they can do this in their empirical work. Responses, however, in interviews indicate that people in the sciences are not treated equally or equitably. Contains 24 references. (PVD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Critical Ethnography; Culture of Science; Meritocracy
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).