Title page for ETD etd-12012011-185427

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Beddoes, Kacey
Author's Email Address kbeddoes@vt.edu
URN etd-12012011-185427
Title Practices of Brokering: Between STS and Feminist Engineering Education Research
Degree PhD
Department Science and Technology Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Borrego, Maura Jenkins Committee Co-Chair
Downey, Gary L. Committee Co-Chair
Jesiek, Brent Committee Member
Luke, Timothy W. Committee Member
  • scalable scholarship
  • feminist science studies
  • brokering
  • engineering education
Date of Defense 2011-11-10
Availability unrestricted
This project documents my efforts to publish STS- and gender theory-informed articles in engineering education journals. It analyzes the processes of writing and revising three articles submitted to three different journals, aiming to shed light on the field of engineering education, gender research therein, and contribute to feminist science studies literature on the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary work across women’s studies and STEM fields. Building upon Wenger’s concept of brokering, I analyze how I brought previously underexplored STS and feminist theory literature into engineering education journals. In producing this dissertation, I aim to illuminate some of the efforts and challenges of bringing STS and Women’s Studies (WS) topics into engineering education journals – thus producing an account of brokering practices and an example of scalable scholarship.

The first chapter introduces engineering education research (EER) as a field of inquiry, situates my project with respect to current feminist science studies, summarizes the framework of brokering that informs my analyses, and describes my methodology. The second chapter describes my initial attempts at brokering by identifying and bridging differences and the preliminary brokering practices that emerged through writing and revising the first of my three articles. It discusses an article published in Journal of Engineering Education that analyzes the uses of feminist theory in EER and argues that further engagement with a broader range of feminist theories could benefit EER. The third chapter describes how some of these practices were reinforced, but also supplemented, while writing and revising the second article. It discusses an article published in International Journal of Engineering Education that analyzes problematizations of underrepresentation in EER and argues that further reflection upon and formal discussion of how underrepresentation is framed could benefit EER. The forth chapter describes how the established brokering practices guided writing the third article, making the process easier as I had become more comfortable with the requirements and challenges of brokering. It discusses an article submitted to European Journal of Engineering Education that analyzes feminist research methodologies in the context of EER, using data from interviews with feminist engineering educators. The fifth chapter concludes by summarizing the brokering practices and discussing their respective challenges, discussing the implications of this project for STS and WS, and, finally, by discussing other implications for peer review engineering education. The Appendix contains aims, scope, author guidelines, and review criteria for the three journals.

Chapters 2, 3, and 4 each begin with a narrative recounting of the practices of brokering that went into producing and revising each article. The narratives describe processes of writing and preparing to submit the articles, reviews received, and subsequent revision processes. The published or submitted articles appear after the brokering narrative.

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