Bourdieu, networks, and movements: Using the concepts of habitus, field and capital to understand a network analysis of gender differences in undergraduate physics

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dc.contributor.author Turnbull, SM en
dc.contributor.author Vanholsbeeck, Frederique en
dc.contributor.author Locke, Kirsten en
dc.contributor.author O'Neale, Dion en
dc.date.accessioned 2019-06-19T21:40:29Z en
dc.date.issued 2019-03-20 en
dc.identifier.citation Arxiv (1903.08725v1). 20 Mar 2019. 23 pages en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/47250 en
dc.description.abstract Current trends suggest that significant gender disparities exist within Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education at university, with female students being underrepresented in physics, but more equally represented in life sciences (e.g., biology, medicine). To understand these trends, it is important to consider the context in which students make decisions about which university courses to enrol in. The current study seeks to investigate gender differences in STEM through a unique approach that combines network analysis of student enrolment data with an interpretive lens based on the sociological theory of Pierre Bourdieu. We generate a network of courses taken by around 9000 undergraduate physics students (from 2009 to 2014) to quantify Bourdieu's concept of field. We explore the properties of this network to investigate gender differences in transverse movements (between different academic fields) and vertical movements (changes in students' achievement rankings within a field). Our findings indicate that female students are more likely to make transverse movements into life science fields. We also find that university physics does a poor job in attracting high achieving students, and especially high achieving female students. Of the students who do choose to study physics, low achieving female students are less likely to continue than their male counterparts. The results and implications are discussed in the context of Bourdieu's theory, and previous research. We argue that in order to remove constraints on female student's study choices, the field of physics needs to provide a culture in which all students feel like they belong. en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri https://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/license.html en
dc.subject physics.ed-ph en
dc.subject physics.ed-ph en
dc.title Bourdieu, networks, and movements: Using the concepts of habitus, field and capital to understand a network analysis of gender differences in undergraduate physics en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The authors en
pubs.author-url http://arxiv.org/abs/1903.08725v1 en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en
pubs.elements-id 767181 en
pubs.org-id Education and Social Work en
pubs.org-id Critical Studies in Education en
pubs.org-id Science en
pubs.org-id Physics en
pubs.arxiv-id 1903.08725 en
pubs.number 1903.08725v1 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-08-20 en
pubs.dimensions-id 31513645 en


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