ERIC Number: EJ1071552
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Careers "From" but Not "In" Science: Why Are Aspirations to Be a Scientist Challenging for Minority Ethnic Students?
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v52 n7 p979-1002 Sep 2015
The importance of science to the economy and for the progression of society is widely acknowledged. Yet, there are concerns that minority ethnic students in the UK are underrepresented, and even excluded, from post-compulsory science education and careers "in" science. Drawing on an exploratory study of 46 semi-structured interviews with British young people (aged 11-14) from Black Caribbean, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, and Chinese ethnic backgrounds, this paper explores why careers "in" science are not popular aspirations among minority ethnic students, while careers "from" science are highly sought after. Using sociological theories of identity, this paper argues that gender and ethnic identities can operate in multifaceted ways to influence students' careers aspirations. Being a scientist is constructed by students as a highly gendered and racialized profession, which may reflect popular discourse of scientist as typically for "white men." Careers "from" science, particularly in medicine, appeared popular among some, but not all, minority ethnic groups, as being a medical staff is considered intrinsically and extrinsically rewarding. Implications of the findings for the science education of minority ethnic students are discussed.
Descriptors: Ethnic Groups, Blacks, Indians, Asians, Semi Structured Interviews, Science Careers, Minority Group Students, Scientists, Self Concept, Gender Differences, Medicine, Science Education, Student Attitudes, Foreign Countries, Career Choice, Occupational Aspiration
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom