Swimming Against the Tide: African American Girls and Science Education

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9781592136216: Swimming Against the Tide: African American Girls and Science Education

“They looked at us like we were not supposed to be scientists,” says one young African American girl, describing one openly hostile reaction she encountered in the classroom. In this significant study, Sandra Hanson explains that although many young minority girls are interested in science, the racism and sexism in the field discourage them from pursuing it after high school. Those girls that remain highly motivated to continue studying science must “swim against the tide.”

Hanson examines the experiences of African American girls in science education using multiple methods of quantitative and qualitative research, including a web survey and vignette techniques. She understands the complex interaction between race and gender in the science domain and, using a multicultural and feminist framework of analysis, addresses the role of agency and resistance that encourages and sustains interest in science in African American families and communities.

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About the Author:

Sandra L. Hanson is Professor of Sociology and Research Associate at Life Cycle Institute, Catholic University. She is the author of Lost Talent: Women in the Sciences (Temple).

Review:

"Swimming Against the Tide addresses a crucial lacunae in the body of literature on women in science, particularly women of color. This is a ‘new’ and innovative approach, since very few book publications on women in science have addressed the subject of African American women in science and from an age specific and culturally relevant perspective. Theoretically and methodologically strong, this is an example of feminist scholarship at its best."
Josephine Beoku-Betts, Professor of Women’s Studies and Sociology, Florida Atlantic University

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