Crystal City, Virginia
April 14, 2019
April 14, 2019
April 22, 2019
Diversity and Collegiate
Keywords: Veterans, LGBTQIA+, Engineering, Undergraduate
Despite important contributions to the literature on intersectionality, and a few excellent exceptions on LGBT experiences in engineering education, there continues to be a dearth of research on military student veterans who identify as LGBTQ. This research presentation brings an exploratory research focus to this subject. An inductive approach was applied to a broad study of student veteran experiences in engineering education at four universities in the U.S. The theme of sexuality was not central to the research design, rather emerged authentically from a few of the respondents. Drawing on the sociology of transgender studies as a conceptual framework, this preliminary work explores the experiences of a few cisgender men in undergraduate engineering programs who are military veterans and identify as gay, using in depth, semi-structured interviews as the source of data.
This research makes an important preliminary contribution to the research frameworks of sexuality studies. In the past, themes of “deviance” and the “underworld” of sexual lives characterized social science studies of sexuality in the 1950s and early 1960s, casting a pejorative moral perspective on gay life. Foci began to change among social science researchers in the 1970s and 80s as researchers shifted analysis away from the individual-level of analysis toward communities, social life, and social movements among LGBT groups. In the 1980s and 90s, social constructionist frameworks offered a wider lens to gender and sexuality studies, and queer theory emerged as a challenge to heteronormativity, contributing to studies of intersectional identities. It is within this latter paradigm that our study is framed.
In this research presentation, we draw from research on transgender studies to highlight two perspectives that offer explanatory dimension to our respondents’ narratives: 1) perceptions of their Identities and Social Locations and 2) the Institutional and Organizational Contexts within which they make meaning.
Lord, S. M., & Camacho, M. M., & Mobley, C., & Brawner, C. E., & Main, J. B. (2019, April), Exploring Narratives of LGBTQ Student Veterans in Engineering Paper presented at 2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity , Crystal City, Virginia. https://cms.jee.org/31760
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