Gendered Interactions in Labs
PI: Amy Stambach
Dr. Stambach, with colleague Dr. Ramona Gunter, performed participant observation in formal (e.g., faculty meetings, classrooms, theses defenses, etc.) and informal (e.g., labs and working spaces) settings in order to examine the degree to which the organizational structures and divisions of labor within departments, in laboratories, in instructional settings, on grants, and in research collaborations and initiatives, contribute to the production and reproduction of career-impeding gender schemas and hierarchies. Open-ended interviews with observed participants augmented the observational data.
Prof. Amy Stambach guided then-doctoral candidate Ramona Gunter's work for this research project. The initial faculty/staff interviews were conducted, in part, by Dr. Gunter, and the focus of the project emanated from these in-depth interviews. Gunter observed two different laboratory settings and also observed classrooms. She also interviewed additional lab members.
Through the course of the interview and observational data she collected, Dr. Gunter reaffirmed the importance of communication in facilitating the learning and research progress of graduate students. What she discovered was not the usual finding that women were disadvantaged in their laboratory workgroups due to lack of communication (i.e., isolation), but rather that gendered patterns of communication shaped conversations in ways that benefit men and hinder women. In addition to the gendered modes of interpersonal communication, Gunter uncovered both subtle and not-so-subtle examples of social structures and social expectations that also tended to enhance men's progress towards their degrees, and hinder women's progress.
- Gunter, Ramona and Amy Stambach. 2005. "Differences in Men and Women Scientists' Perceptions of Workplace Climate." The Journal of Women and Minorities in Science & Engineering. 11(1):97-116. [Abstract]
- Gunter, Ramona and Amy Stambach. 2003. "As Balancing Act and As Game: How Women and Men Science Faculty Experience the Promotion Process." Gender Issues. 21(1):24-42. [Abstract]
- Stambach, Amy and Ramona Gunter. May 2003. "As Balancing Act and As Game: How Women and Men Science Faculty Experience the Promotion Process." Gender, Science, and Technology International Conference. Trondheim, Norway.
- Gunter, Ramona. April 3, 2006. "Men and Women Graduate Students' Experiences in Two Plant Science Laboratories." Fort Atkinson Branch of American Association of University Women Meeting. Fort Atkinson, WI.
- Gunter, Ramona. October 20, 2003. "Science Faculty Talk about Self, Home, and Career." WISELI Seminar. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madison, WI.
- Gunter, Ramona. 2007. "Laboratory Talk: Gendered Interactions and Research Progress in Graduate Science Education." Doctoral Dissertation: University of Wisconsin-Madison.