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Title: Intersectional Engineers: The Diversity of Gender and Race Microaggressions and Their Effects in Engineering Education
Abstract: Underrepresented minorities in engineering regularly experience subtle behaviors or statements that denigrate them on account of their race, ethnicity, gender, or other identity. Engineering students cite these behaviors, known as microaggressions, as reasons for having considered changing majors or leaving college altogether. Despite the recent research trend to foster a more racially, ethnically, and genderinclusive engineering education and profession, previous research does not examine microaggressions in engineering using an intersectional lens. Without an intersectional perspective, intragroup diversity is overlooked, increasing the potential to reinforce broad racial and gender stereotypes. To measure the effects of microaggressions among engineering undergraduate students, the current study used an intersectional approach and collected data from a predominantly white institution (PWI) and from a historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The authors conducted individual semistructured interviews to examine the effects of microaggressions among 42 engineering undergraduate students, who can be categorized into seven intersectional identities—White women, African American men, African American women, Asian men, Asian women, Latino men, and Latina women. Results showed five macroeffects and two microeffects—(1) reduced self-belief (reduced self-efficacy and reduced self-esteem), (2) otherness, (3) racial/gender isolation, (4) stereotype threat, and (5) and empowered sense of self. Also, in this work, we make comparisons across intersectional identities. The data provide support for further study of microaggressions and their effects on intersectional identities. This research extends the intersectional approach to focus on engineering departments and colleges and provides information to engineering departments and university administrators concerning the experiences of minority undergraduates and offers academic leaders further information regarding issues surrounding minority student retention and persistence. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)ME.1943-5479.0000889. © 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1828559 1828172
NSF-PAR ID:
10313451
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of management in engineering
ISSN:
1943-5479
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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