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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimir: 1072-8325
ISSN On-line: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v13.i2.50
pages 175-189

'CAN I GET YOUR EMAIL': GENDER, NETWORKING AND SOCIAL CAPITAL IN AN UNDERGRADUATE BIOENGINEERING CLASSROOM

Shelley K. Erickson
Arizona State University, PO Box 870403, Tempe, AZ 85287

RESUMO

Based on observations and interviews, this article explores how female and male biomedical engineering students network and generate social capital (who one knows) in an undergraduate classroom. Stark differences were observed between female and male students and their interactions with a series of guest lecturers. Although women engineering students may be differentially affected by how they raise their social capital, this study does not suggest that women engineering students are wholly incapable of raising their social capital. Rather, a disconnect occurs between the student population receiving information about networking and women students acting on informal and spontaneous opportunities as they arise. Institutional and departmental support (i.e., internship programs and discussion in the classroom and at orientation) appears to favor those who rely on more formal means of networking.


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