The current scientific and political discussion on the under‐representation of women within the Internet once again associates women with disinterest in technology in an…
The current scientific and political discussion on the under‐representation of women within the Internet once again associates women with disinterest in technology in an essentialist manner. Gender‐specific attributions are unquestioningly transferred to the new media, and it is assumed that women behave in unfailing conformity with existing gender stereotypes. The intention of this paper is to show that gender research has to perform differentiated empirical studies of actual Internet use. Gender studies can then make a concrete contribution to the task of overcoming the genderdifferentiated inequalities in the access to and the use of the Internet. I shall begin by briefly outlining the dilemma of gender studies in the technical area. In the second section I shall describe the reasons for the gender‐differentiated Internet access data, using quantitative Internet studies from the USA, calling for a de‐dramatisation of difference in this context. In the third section, I will overcome the dichotomous view of the digital divide and present a research framework for differentiated study of differing use habits and use requirements. This section illustrates that such an approach does not make the gender category superfluous, but challenges gender studies to present context‐related studies, in which individual behaviour may be interpreted in the context of gender symbols and structures. My fourth step will be to explain how the new possibilities of online research can and should be used to gain further understanding in the sense of differentiated study designs. Finally, I will finish with a short outlook where I am calling for an equal representation of all societal groups in the Internet and therefore for an empowerment particularly of women.
Scholarship on women in engineering education mainly focuses on the question of how to attract more women to this subject. The topic concerning women in engineering…
Scholarship on women in engineering education mainly focuses on the question of how to attract more women to this subject. The topic concerning women in engineering education is here guided by the question of why women leave engineering studies. The paper aims to examine the main conflicts women encounter in engineering education and to derive implications for interventions suited for strengthening institutional bonding forces.
The question is approached through case analyses of 40 interviews with women and men (as the control group) who have left their studies. In addition, repertory grids were carried out with all interviewees and analysed. On the basis of these analyses, five types of dropout could be defined. Two case studies with women are presented in detail in this article. These cases are especially representative of two types of dropout that are characterised by high quotas of women.
The central conflicts of women in engineering education are often either suffering from poor grades or that women being afflicted by a subjective feeling of not gaining a deep understanding of technical phenomena. These two conflicts represent the two pillars of identity formation in engineering education that are necessary to bind students to their studies: passing the exams with good grades and feeling self‐efficacious in the handling of technology.
Up‐to‐date subject‐specific studies on dropout in engineering education – especially with a focus on women – are marginal in Europe, and particularly so in Germany.