On the Outskirts of Engineering

Learning Identity, Gender, and Power via Engineering Practice


On the Outskirts of Engineering: Learning Identity, Gender, and Power via Engineering Practice falls at the intersection of research about women in sites of technical practice and ethnographic studies of learning in communities of practice. Grounded in long-term participation on student teams completing real-world projects for industry and government clients, Outskirts provides an insider look at forms of engineering practice—the cultural production of engineer identity, of the ways that gender is made real in such sites of practice, and of power relations that emerge in response to enculturated practices that organize everyday life. Outskirts contributes to understanding cultural obduracy and the movement of some men and most women to the outskirts of engineering.

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Karen L. Tonso, an Associate Professor of Education at Wayne State University, brought 15 years of experiences as an engineer and her academic training in anthropology of education to this project.
Educational Researchers and their students