SESSION ON GENDER, NETWORKING, AND COLLABORATION
ISCRAT 1998, AARHUS, DK
Masculinization of the Discourse Practices and Activities of Natural Science and Academic Professions
J L Lemke
I wish to raise some difficult questions about the role of scientific and professional academic practices in the construction and maintenance of gendered identities for male scientists and academics. To the extent that these activities have evolved historically in ways that enable men to confirm their masculinity by doing science and other academic work, they should also exhibit features and tendencies that are inconsistent with the 'habitus' or dispositions of many women and of men who do not identify with conventional definitions of a masculine identity. These features may point us toward a better understanding of the historically masculinist biases in many disciplinary and research subcultures. They may also provide insight into the stakes and negotiations involved in academic discussions and collaborative work among women, highly masculinized men, and men with other gender identities. It is important that the design of groupware for networked collaborations should take these issues into account.