Framing Engineering: The Role of College Website Descriptions
AbstractThis study contributes to the literature on women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by examining the framing of engineering on college websites, a major recruitment tool. We take websites to be key sources of textual data that can provide insights into the discourses surrounding the field of engineering. We ask whether women-only institutions (WOIs) frame engineering in ways that appeal more broadly to women. Our sample comprises the full range of WOIs offering engineering degrees in the US (14) and a comparison sample of 14 coeducational universities also offering engineering degrees. We employ established methods for discourse analysis, and both deductive and inductive coding processes in analyzing the textual data. Our main findings indicate that WOIs’ framing of engineering places a greater emphasis on collaboration, supports for students, interdisciplinarity, and the potential for engineering to contribute to improvements for society. In contrast, co-ed institutions tend to place a greater emphasis on the financial returns and job security that result from majoring in engineering. We conclude that co-ed engineering programs should consider a broadening of the descriptions surrounding the engineering field, since the inclusion of a wider set of values could be appealing to women students. View Full-Text
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da Costa, R.B.; Stromquist, N.P. Framing Engineering: The Role of College Website Descriptions. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 7.
da Costa RB, Stromquist NP. Framing Engineering: The Role of College Website Descriptions. Social Sciences. 2018; 7(1):7.Chicago/Turabian Style
da Costa, Romina B.; Stromquist, Nelly P. 2018. "Framing Engineering: The Role of College Website Descriptions." Soc. Sci. 7, no. 1: 7.
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