The Shifting Career Strategies and Networks of Asian Female Faculty in the Fields of Science and Engineering in the Southwestern United States
Committee ChairRhoades, Gary
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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.
AbstractDue to the steady increase of Asian female students and scholars at U.S. higher education institutions, this research examines how Asian women use connections when seeking faculty employment. The research investigates shifting career strategies and how the women coped with their dual minority status of being a foreigner and a female in the highly masculine fields of science and engineering. The data explores the social networking processes that aid in academic job placement in science and engineering fields within the southwest U.S.Using a qualitative approach of interviews and document analysis, this study explores the career networks and strategies for female faculty members in the fields of science and engineering. The theoretical framework of social network theory and transnational migration theory are applied to examine data on 24 women from 8 Asian countries employed at 2 Research I universities.The shifting career strategies spanned 3 phases: migration, education and training, and career. Intention to return to their home country was reassessed at each phase. Push-pull forces influenced migration to the U.S. Influential networks were created throughout these phases. Participants chose between industry or academia and were influenced by faculty socialization during graduate school. The participants created engendered career strategies to cope with their male-dominated work environment. The creation of new family networks via marriage and children determined the geographical location of jobs and created a transnational social space of maintaining multiple networks across national lines. Academic couples also created strategies to find dual positions with one partner functioning as the tied migrant or to live apart.The participants created networks based around family, education and training, and work linkages. The participants identified their connections by mapping out visual diagrams. The masculine nature of science and engineering provided more male-female networks based on the actor's role rather than gender. These networks were access points to other faculty and job-related information. When networks failed, web-based formalized job postings allowed the participants to gain access to a basic level of job resources. Personalized contacts were crucial for academic couple hiring.
Degree ProgramHigher Education