Asee peer logo

Queering Engineering: A Critical Analysis of the Gendered Technical/Social Dualism in Engineering and Engineering Education Research

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Expanding the Perspectives of Underrepresentation in Engineering

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Luis Leyva Vanderbilt University

visit author page

Luis Leyva holds a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics Education with a certification in Women's and Gender Studies from Rutgers University. He will begin a tenure-track faculty position as Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Vanderbilt University in August 2016. As a 2015 Dissertation Fellow for the National Academy of Education and Spencer Foundation, Luis completed a dissertation that used intersectionality theory to examine mathematics as a social experience particularly in terms of gender and race among underrepresented college students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). He has presented his scholarship at research conferences organized by the American Educational Research Association, Association for the Study of Higher Education, and Out in STEM Incorporated. Luis holds professional experience in various STEM student support initiatives at Rutgers University including the STEM Talent Expansion Program, Upward Bound Math-Science, and Project Advancing Graduate Education. He is a certified K-12 mathematics teacher in New Jersey with a Master’s degree in Mathematics Education and Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Rutgers University.

visit author page


Jacob Massa Rutgers University

visit author page

Jacob Massa is an undergraduate chemical engineering student in his senior year at Rutgers University. As an Aresty Research Fellow, National Space Grant Consortium Fellow, and James J. Slade Scholar, he has conducted research on catalytic light alkane dehydrogenation and methane reforming on TiO2 at Rutgers University. Additionally, Jacob has completed research on catalytic methane activation at the University of Houston under the NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates program. He has presented research posters and given presentations of these works at many on-campus venues in addition to both regional and national conferences such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting. Jacob holds professional experience as a Teaching Assistant for introductory chemistry labs and peer mentor for various calculus courses at Rutgers University.

visit author page


Dan Battey Rutgers University

visit author page

Dan Battey is an Associate Professor in Elementary Mathematics Education in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He was previously faculty at Arizona State University and a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA in the Center for Teaching and Learning, Diversity in Mathematics Education (DiME). His work centers on engaging teachers in opportunities to learn within and from their practice in a way that sustains and generates change as well as challenges metanarratives that limit opportunities for African American and Latino students in mathematics. He is currently working on understanding mathematics education as a racialized space through researching relational interactions in classrooms. His work has been published in Teachers College Record, Educational Studies in Mathematics, Curriculum Inquiry, Urban Education, and Journal for Research in Mathematics among others.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Wendy Faulkner first introduced the technical/social dualism in her 2000 article to detail engineering as a gendered space where technical skills are valued over social competence and thus deemed a masculinized trait. This paper draws on our review of research of peer-reviewed journal articles, handbook chapters, and refereed conference proceedings that cite Faulkner’s article to critically examine the variation of using the technical/social dualism to explore engineering as a gendered field of study. Faulkner’s three-tiered analytical framework (division of labor, symbols, and identities) was adopted in our review to document the extent to which the gendered mappings of the technical/social dualism onto heterosexual masculinity/femininity have been challenged in order to further broaden participation among women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer/questioning, and other (LGBTQ+) individuals. A subset of findings from the review presented in this paper highlight the need for future ethnographic analyses that advance Faulkner’s destabilizing of the technical/social dualism. This allows for the detailing of in-the-moment gendered engineering experiences among women and LGBTQ+ individuals at multiple intersections of their gender, sexuality, and other social identities.

Leyva, L., & Massa, J., & Battey, D. (2016, June), Queering Engineering: A Critical Analysis of the Gendered Technical/Social Dualism in Engineering and Engineering Education Research Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26026

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015