Re-Tooling Steminism: Toward an Improved Analytical Framework for Understanding and Undoing Sex-Segregation in Stem Fields
Presented by Shannon McCarragher, PhD
posted Tuesday November 20, 2018
by SWG Webmaster
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, including geography, play important roles in creating knowledge for society and pathways to power, resources, and authority for scientists, yet women and people of color have historically been underrepresented in STEM fields. Students in STEM fields have all been affected by feminist attempts to diversify these fields, and a new form of feminism has emerged, “STEMinism,” which represents a call-to-action for recruiting and supporting women in STEM. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with 45 undergraduate students from a large Midwestern university, we investigated the perceptions and experiences of women and minorities in STEM. Ultimately, we conclude that STEMinist approaches do not provide students with an adequate intellectual toolkit for understanding and undermining gendered power dynamics in the classroom, lab, and workplace. We unpack the limitations of the STEMinist approach and offer alternatives for launching a more effective approach to ending sex-segregation in STEM fields.