Paper Title

Pipeline Problems: Using Intersectionality to Fix a Leaky Metaphor

Location

Room 220, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

Keywords

pipeline; STEM; Intersectionality; intersectionist; intersectional trap

Abstract

Although the pipeline metaphor has been used pervasively since its introduction by Berryman (1983) as a representation of how students decide to choose a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), its limitations as a metaphor are numerous. The metaphor was developed based on one field, engineering, and does not take into account the myriad of obstacles students face as they follow a STEM trajectory. It assumes that placing students into one end of the pipe and supplying sufficient force will propel them successfully forward. Some researchers (Slaton, 2010; Seymour & Hewitt, 1997) also believe white privilege structures within institutions have changed the view of the pipeline to reflect primarily white male norms. The pipeline metaphor may not accurately portray the obstacles students of color and females encounter as they develop a STEM career identity (Carlone & Johnson, 2007; Cannaday, et al.,2014). A new model, centered on the intersectionality of race, gender, and career identity, needs to be developed that includes multiple pathways for entry and exit into STEM career paths and better reflects the obstacles females and minorities encounter. Options for repairing or replacing this outdated metaphor with one that is more accurate and equitable will be discussed.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 1st, 5:00 PM Apr 1st, 6:15 PM

Pipeline Problems: Using Intersectionality to Fix a Leaky Metaphor

Room 220, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Although the pipeline metaphor has been used pervasively since its introduction by Berryman (1983) as a representation of how students decide to choose a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), its limitations as a metaphor are numerous. The metaphor was developed based on one field, engineering, and does not take into account the myriad of obstacles students face as they follow a STEM trajectory. It assumes that placing students into one end of the pipe and supplying sufficient force will propel them successfully forward. Some researchers (Slaton, 2010; Seymour & Hewitt, 1997) also believe white privilege structures within institutions have changed the view of the pipeline to reflect primarily white male norms. The pipeline metaphor may not accurately portray the obstacles students of color and females encounter as they develop a STEM career identity (Carlone & Johnson, 2007; Cannaday, et al.,2014). A new model, centered on the intersectionality of race, gender, and career identity, needs to be developed that includes multiple pathways for entry and exit into STEM career paths and better reflects the obstacles females and minorities encounter. Options for repairing or replacing this outdated metaphor with one that is more accurate and equitable will be discussed.