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"Although we are engineers, we will work with people too…"
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper aims at exploring how intersections of gender, age, social class, and ethnicity are negotiated in talk about the transition from being an engineering student to becoming an engineer. The empirical data consists of final year female engineering students’ narratives collected through video-diaries and interviews. Theoretically we draw on critical discursive psychology (Potter and Wetherell 1992). We investigate how female engineering students use different interpretative repertoires (Edley 2001), which can be described as specific and often contradicting ways of talking about a phenomenon in everyday conversations. Different repertoires are used strategically by people as a way to make sense of their actions and ideas by representing them as ‘good’ and ‘normal’ in the specific context. Wetherell and Potter (1992) argue that repertoires are related to social structures and power relations, which means that not all repertories are available for every individual. The concept of interpretative repertoires is helpful when it comes to analysing the students’ (in)ability to use different repertoires and, in this sense, the (im)possibility for them to achieve different subject positions when they talk about engineering studies and engineering. Power relations are upheld when some social positions becomes troubled, i.e. when a position is questioned or criticized in different ways, while another position is regarded as untroubled, i.e. as a normal and righteous identity that needs no further explaining (Wetherell 1998). The two positions, troubled/untroubled, help to analyze how and in what contexts notions of gender, age, social class and ethnicity are given importance in students’ talk. Our results show that the students are discursively produced as in need of ‘thick skin’. They are both seen as special and normal, too strong and too week, welcomed and pitted. Being older or born abroad is interpreted as unproblematic, but seems to produce invisibility and limited access to employability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Middlesex University , 2017.
National Category
Learning
Research subject
genusvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-146016DiVA, id: diva2:1193158
Conference
GEA Conference 2017, The 11th Biennial Gender & Education Association Conference, Middlesex University, London, 21st-23rd June, 2017
Projects
Remoulding Engineering: Knowledge and Identity Perspectives on Project Work in Engineering Education
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2018-03-26 Created: 2018-03-26 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Silfver, EvaBerge, Maria

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf