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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

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

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v7.i3.10
26 pages

FEMINIST SCIENCE IN THE CASE OF A REFORM-MINDED BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT

Cory A. Buxton
University of New Orleans, 342-E Bicentennial Education Center, New Orleans, LA 70148

ABSTRACT

This study explores how science and scientists were produced and reproduced within the setting of a university biology department. Building on recent work in the anthropology of education and feminist science studies, the author explored the reflexive questions of whether increased women's representation in science changed science practice and whether changing science practice increased women's representation insolence. The author examined both the contextual and constitutive values of science as they were negotiated and played out in the training of scientists in this setting. The author found some ways in which these values were shifting as more women assumed places of leadership in the department. At the same time, the author identified other ways in which the presence of women did not seem to cause the types of changes that feminist science studies have hypothesized. These findings can be interpreted through the anthropological perspective of practice theory, in which individuals are seen as exerting agency both within and against institutional structures.