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Narratives of the Double Bind: Intersectionality in Life Stories of Women of Color in Physics, Astrophysics and Astronomy
Physics Education Research Conference. (2012)
This paper presents themes on the life stories of women of color in physics, astronomy and astrophysics. Drawing from the NSF-funded project, Beyond the Double Bind: Women of Color in STEM, project researchers share findings from 10 interviews and 41 extant texts (covering 23 women in varied life stages). Employing interactional theory and narrative analysis, this paper contributes a critical analysis of how the intersection of gender and race affects performance, identity, achievement and overall career and education experiences in the physical sciences. Findings both support the literature on women of color in STEM, as well as bring to light unique issues, such as the importance of outside activism and outreach, and career-life balance issues. This research will add to the knowledge base about strategies for retaining women of color—widely considered an untapped source of domestic talent that could fill the country's scientific workforce needs.