Discourse, Gender, and the Meaning of Work Rearticulating Science, Technology, and Engineering Careers Through Communicative Lenses

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In this chapter, we offer communicative perspectives and challenges related to gender representation and the gendered organizing and career processes in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) areas. We focus on the meaning of work in STEM and how these meanings are (re)created and communicated through d/Discourses. Using a discursive approach, new perspectives on the issue of the underrepresentation of women in STEM careers derive from the constructed nature of STEM work itself and its meaningfulness to different groups, particularly women. Engagement in STEM careers also provides a context to evaluate and expand theory, research, and practice in communication. We use multi-disciplinary lenses to examine developmental, educational, media, technological, socio-cultural, and organizational perspectives on STEM work and careers. In summary, this chapter examines the discursive roots of contemporary constructions and images of STEM work, careers, education, and organizations, offering an opportunity to address a socially relevant issue and context for further examination and explication of communication research, theories, and practices across specialties.

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Annals of the International Communication Association, v. 33, issue 1, p. 259-299