Engineering and Physics Faculty Research and Publications

Title

Exploration of Relationships between Conformity to Masculine Social Norms and Demographic Characteristics

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

10-2018

Abstract

In this full research paper, we bring into focus the interplay of conformity to masculine social norms and demographic characteristics (i.e., gender, race/ethnicity, institutional settings) among undergraduate engineering students in the United States. We approached this study with an exploratory, non-experimental design that involved examining patterns of relationship between the conformity to masculine social norms and demographic characteristics of respondents. Our data were obtained from of survey responses by engineering students (n=128) in first-year general engineering courses at three universities in the Southeastern United States. We operationalized conformity to masculine social norms using the Conformity to Masculinity Social Norms Inventory (CMNI-22). Our results revealed moderate to low conformity to masculine social norms among engineering students in first-year general engineering courses. Overall, student demographic characteristics appeared to have weak to limited influence on levels of conformity. However, the institutional setting interacted significantly with both gender and race/ethnicity such that male students at the public research university setting and white students in the same setting reported significantly higher levels of conformity to masculine social norms than students in other demographic categories. We discuss these findings as they enrich understanding about how institutional contexts might affect gendered social norms related to engineering professional formation.

Comments

This paper was presented at the 2018 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference held October 3-6, 2018.

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IEEE

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