Research studies indicate African American males face multiple and reinforcing obstacles by choosing to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related majors and professions. Though participation in STEM fields has increased, African American males remain underrepresented in STEM academic programs and occupations as a whole, and in the computing sciences specifically. In the STEM field of computing sciences, isolation, inadequate advisement, among other complex factors, perpetuate the underrepresentation and low persistence of African American males in academic programs. Utilizing viable social identity and communities of practice as theoretical underpinnings, this qualitative study into the lives of aspiring and current African American male computer scientists produced findings that illuminate the significance of what I call STEMfluences, or social interactions that promote socialization, STEM identity, confidence, and success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics related disciplines like the computing sciences, and promote persistence through degree attainment in homogeneous, unwelcoming STEM academic environments. These STEMfluences are social constructs that include positive peer interactions and modeling, parental and familial nurturing, and multifaceted mentorship.
Charleston, L.J. (2022), "
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2022 LaVar J. Charleston. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited