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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Druckformat: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v9.i34.100
14 pages

A CRITIQUE OF LITERATURE ON THE UNDERREPRESENTATION OF AFRICAN AMERICANS IN SCIENCE: DIRECTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

Bradford F. Lewis
Department of Advanced Studies, Leadership & Policy, Morgan State University, 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane, JB421, Baltimore, MD 21251

ABSTRAKT

It is well documented that African Americans have been disproportionately underrepresented in science and science-related careers for over two decades. However, although there have been great efforts to address the problem through policy and intervention efforts, our research-grounded understanding of underrepresentation has not kept pace. This article provides an overview of empirical studies aimed at extending knowledge on the underrepresentation of African Americans, with the goal of providing a critical overview of this literature. Empirical studies are reviewed as well as explanations garnered from related literature that offer insight into potential causes of underrepresentation. The article concludes by identifying five salient limitations of existing literature. These limitations are the low number of empirical reports, the preponderance of poorly defined factors related to career decisions, uniformity in theoretical and methodological approaches, the tendency to equate career attainment with career choice, and the lack of an explanatory model for racial disparity.


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