Gendering the workplace
: the dispositif of contemporary western science

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    This thesis interrogates qualitative data from women scientists and women science teachers using feminist poststructural techniques. Social elements and power relations that produce and reproduce the ‘problem’ of women and science are described through the application of Foucauldian methodology. The interrelation and interplay of material and immaterial elements of the dispositif of contemporary Western science are used to identify potential points of disruption. Relations between sex/gender and science emerge as key elements in producing and reproducing discourses, statements and practices that maintain societal status quo in relation to the problem of women and science. The impact of binary categorisation of sex/gender definitions in policy, legislation and practice is critically examined in relation to social theories of gender subjectification, drawing on Judith Butler and Luce Irigaray. Through this analysis, the problem of women and science can be seen as an outcome of socio-cultural conditions of patriarchy emerging at the time of the Enlightenment and persisting into the 21st Century, despite legislation and rhetoric to the contrary. Many current programs, policies and initiatives are unlikely to effect the change required since they maintain the social conditions that make the problem inevitable. Instead, future research and educational strategies are recommended to disrupt the problem of women and science by challenging social assumptions about sex and gender. This is no small task and ultimately requires commitment to social change that disrupts patriarchal relations of power in the 21st Century.
    Date of AwardSept 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorBarry Judd (Supervisor), Sue Shore (Supervisor) & Elspeth Oppermann (Supervisor)

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