Title

Gender, culture and authority in a university Life Sciences laboratory

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-1997

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Abstract

Many studies document the disproportionately high attrition rate of women in science, especially at early points in their careers. This ethnographic and conversational analytical study of a university life sciences laboratory group goes beneath statistical findings to explore one reason often cited by women who have dropped out of science: a `bad lab experience'. A detailed analysis of the interactional patterns or culture of the laboratory group suggests that discursive practices reinforce a conflation of gender, culture, and authority creating a climate that may be experienced as `chilly', or even `hostile', by some female members.