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  • 1.
    Danielsson, Anna T.
    et al.
    Department of Education, Uppsala University Uppsala, Sweden.
    Gonsalves, Allison J.
    Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    The Pride and Joy of Engineering? The Identity Work of Male Working-Class Engineering Students2019In: Engineering Studies, ISSN 1937-8629, E-ISSN 1940-8374, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 172-195Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, we explore the identity work done by four male, working-class students who participate in a Swedish mechanical engineering program, with a focus on their participation in project work. A focus on how individuals negotiate their participation in science and technology disciplines has proven to be a valuable way to study inclusion and exclusion in such disciplines. This is of particular relevance in engineering education where it is widely argued that change is needed in order to attract new groups of students and provide students with knowledge appropriate for the future society. In this study we conceptualized identity as socially and discursively produced, and focus on tracing students’ identity trajectories. The empirical data consists of ethnographic field notes from lectures, video-recordings of project work, semi-structured interviews, and video-diaries recorded by the students. The findings show that even though all four students unproblematically associate with the ‘technicist’masculinity of their chosen program it takes considerable work to incorporate the project work into their engineering trajectories. Further, ‘laddish’ masculinities re/produced in higher education in engineering also contribute to a ‘troubled’ identity trajectory for one of the interviewed students.

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  • 2.
    Ottemo, Andreas
    et al.
    Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Mendick, Heather
    Independent Academic, London, UK.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Gender, passion, and 'sticky' technology in a voluntaristically-organized technology makerspace2023In: Engineering Studies, ISSN 1937-8629, E-ISSN 1940-8374, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 101-121Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As 'open' and supposedly inclusive informal learning settings that participants visit out of interest and passion, there has been hope that makerspaces will democratize technology and challenge traditional gender patterns in engineering education. Passion for technology has, however, also been shown to be deeply intertwined with the masculinization of engineering. This article explores how this tension manifests among engineering students and other makers at an 'open' voluntaristically-organized technology makerspace located at the campus of a Swedish university of technology. It draws on a post-structural understanding of gender and Sara Ahmed’s queer phenomenological conceptualization of emotions as 'orienting devices'. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with makers, we show how passion for technology is articulated as a particularly absorbing emotion that underpins a playful approach to technology and a framing of makers as single-minded and asocial. We demonstrate how passion for technology thereby becomes a homosocial 'glue' that makes technology 'sticky' for only a select group of techno-passionate men. We conclude that this undermines the potential for 'making' to democratize technology and puts into question the degree to which interest-driven, voluntaristic and 'authentic' settings for engaging with technology can contribute to pluralizing engineering.

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