June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
23.1243.1 - 23.1243.8
The Veiling of Queerness: Depoliticization and the Experiences of LGBT EngineersThe last several decades of engineering education and engineering studies research hasmade clear that not all identities are equally valued or rewarded within the profession.Those who do not fit the stereotypical image of an engineer (white, middle-class,heterosexual male) are not only disadvantaged and excluded, their identities mean they aresimultaneously visible as “different” and invisible as engineers. This latter effect is partly aprocess of “depoliticization,” whereby the professional culture of engineering marks issuesof equality, justice and power as irrelevant to the work of engineers. Depoliticization notonly means that promoting LGBT equality is a low priority within the profession, but thatthe very discussion of LGBT equality issues is considered irrelevant to “real” engineeringeducation and engineering work. I draw from qualitative focus group data on LGBTengineers in academia and industry to parse out some of the particular organizational andinteractional processes through which depoliticization acts to silence LGBT equality issuesin engineering. After presenting my findings, I suggest ways in which engineering maychallenge these processes of depoliticization and lift the veil surrounding queerness inengineering.
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: © 2013 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