Crisis of Confidence on the Margins: Young Women Doing Gender and Science

Saturday, 14 February 2015: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room LL21F (San Jose Convention Center)
Laurel Smith-Doerr, Boston University, Boston, MA
Through 103 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with chemical scientists and ethnographic observation in 4 academic and industry lab sites, we attempt to uncover social processes at the intersection of age and gender--comparing performances of expertise by young women to more experienced women, young men, and more experienced men scientists. We find a gap between young women's normative narratives of expertise in interviews and observations of presentation situations that produce challenges particularly to young women 'doing' expertise--situations in which a gendered crisis of confidence arises.