ENGINEERING SELVES - Management Communication Quarterly

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http://mcq.sagepub.com/ Management Communication Quarterly http://mcq.sagepub.com/content/15/3/350 The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1177/0893318902153002 2002 15: 350 Management Communication Quarterly Jane Jorgenson Engineering Selves : Negotiating Gender and Identity in Technical Work Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com can be found at: Management Communication Quarterly Additional services and information for http://mcq.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://mcq.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://mcq.sagepub.com/content/15/3/350.refs.html Citations: at University of British Columbia Library on November 23, 2010 mcq.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATION QUARTERLY / FEBRUARY 2002 Jorgenson / NEGOTIATING GENDER AND IDENTITY E NGINEERING S ELVES Negotiating Gender and Identity in Technical Work Jane Jorgenson University of South Florida 350 . . . these participants do not frame difficult episodes in their professional lives in terms of gender inequality. Management Communication Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 3, February 2002 350-380 © 2002 Sage Publications at University of British Columbia Library on November 23, 2010 mcq.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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This article used the concept of discursive positioning to explore the narrative construction of professional identities among women engineers. The analysis of interviews with 15 women in a variety of engineering specialties suggested that they adopt a variety of dis- tinct and sometimes contradictory positionings to present them- selves as qualified professionals. In general, participants were reluctant to acknowledge gender relations as consequential for their careers and were also ambivalent about the implied focus of this research on female engineers as a “marginalized group.” A case is made for including and examining female engineers’ self- determinedidentitiestoarriveatmoreadequatelycomplexdescrip- tions of their work realities. A s more women have laid claim to opportunities for signifi- cant work in science and engineering, there has been a growing interest in how they learn and negotiate the categories of “difference” that characterize these historically male-dominated arenas. Engineering, the prototypical masculine profession, is a particularly rich site for the study of gender negotiations. With its origins in 17th-century military institutions (Bergvall, 1996; Hacker, 1989), engineering is said to have evolved within a particu- lar ideological framework—according to feminist critics, one that emphasizes a mechanistic worldview, the control of nature, and the privileging of “cool” mathematical reasoning over inexact human- istic knowledge (Keller, 1985; Sorensen, 1992; Wajcman, 1991). In comparison with other professions, engineering also continues to be conspicuous in its sex segregation, containing the smallest pro-
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This note was uploaded on 12/20/2010 for the course ENG 112 taught by Professor Asf during the Spring '10 term at The University of British Columbia.

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ENGINEERING SELVES - Management Communication Quarterly

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