Formation and Representation: Critical Analyses of Identity, Supply, and Demand in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
AdvisorRios Aguilar, Cecilia
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoEmbargo: Release after 10/15/2011
AbstractConsiderable research, policy, and programmatic efforts have been dedicated to addressing the participation of particular populations in STEM for decades. Each of these efforts claims equity- related goals; yet, they heavily frame the problem, through pervasive STEM pipeline model discourse, in terms of national needs, workforce supply, and competitiveness. This particular framing of the problem may, indeed, be counter to equity goals, especially when paired with policy that largely relies on statistical significance and broad aggregation of data over exploring the identities and experiences of the populations targeted for equitable outcomes in that policy. In this study, I used the mixed-methods approach of critical discourse and critical quantitative analyses to understand how the pipeline model ideology has become embedded within academic discourse, research, and data surrounding STEM education and work and to provide alternatives for quantitative analysis. Using critical theory as a lens, I first conducted a critical discourse analysis of contemporary STEM workforce studies with a particular eye to pipeline ideology. Next, I used that analysis to inform logistic regression analyses of the 2006 SESTAT data. This quantitative analysis compared and contrasted different ways of thinking about identity and retention. Overall, the findings of this study show that many subjective choices are made in the construction of the large-scale datasets used to inform much national science and engineering policy and that these choices greatly influence likelihood of retention outcomes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College