ERIC Number: ED517609
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Women in Science and Engineering: Thriving or Surviving?
Baxter, Kathleen B.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California
As a result of the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering programs, the culture is male-dominated and perpetuates an unsupportive and biased climate that discourages undergraduate women from connecting to their gender. Using a social identity framework, this study addresses how gender influences undergraduate women's perception of themselves, their role in the engineering community and their decision to persist. By capturing the experiences of 16 undergraduate women who are enrolled at two elite technical universities in Southern California, this qualitative study utilizes focus groups and individual interviews to provide key insight and perspective on the role of gender in their experience. Through the data, we learn perception has a significant impact on women, that women are willing to acclimate to a masculine culture as a means to both prove legitimacy and feel a sense of belonging and lastly, women manage their gender in two primary ways, one by integrating within the culture through adopting more masculine tendencies and second, by adapting to the environment as needed and persevering in spite of the masculine undercurrent. The implications at the conclusion of this study are two-fold. One focus is helping undergraduate women understand gendered experiences and bringing gender to the forefront of their experience and the second is studying the overall structure of this culture in an effort to move from a masculine, gender-neutral philosophy to one that is gender-sensitive and gender-inclusive. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
Descriptors: Women Scientists, Focus Groups, Science Careers, Engineering, Disproportionate Representation, Undergraduate Students, Gender Differences, Females, Self Concept, Role, Academic Persistence, Engineering Education, Student Attitudes, Foreign Countries, Interviews, Educational Experience, Masculinity, Educational Environment, Student Adjustment
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California