Gender and Technology

Prior to graduate school, I taught computer science at an all-girls middle school which cultivates communities of practice where girls can learn to be curious, creative, and competent computer scientists. This research documents the experiences of graduates as they move into high schools often permeated by new stereotypes and expectations about technology and gender. This research builds on prior work on equity and inclusion in computing by adopting a sociolinguistic account of how social roles and identities, which afford students learning opportunities, are shaped by categories such as race, gender, and ethnicity, and how these in turn are produced through discourse. The sociolinguistic approach is particularly promising because it treats students as potentially actively engaged in reshaping the meanings of the categories that mediate their ability to access learning opportunities. Working with students, I am designing a series of group discussions to help participants who go to different schools identify common ideologies which limit who they can be in their learning environments, and to share how they have been affected by them. To the extent that students have been able to challenge the ideologies, or subvert the categorical definitions on which they operate, this will be an opportunity to share what works.

Timeline

2017 $4,250 Lopatin Fellowship, The linguistic production of learning opportunities 2017 Conducted interviews with 10 graduates

(2018 summer) Group discussions with graduates

(2018 summer) Ethnographic observation of computing summer camps