The Gender of Academic Disciplines

Sociologist Tanja Paulitz gave a talk on gender in the academic cultures of the natural sciences and engineering

Sociology Professor Dr. Tanja Paulitz spoke about gender in the academic cultures of the natural sciences and engineering on Thursday, 23 June at 4pm in the CITEC building, located on North Campus. At the center of her talk was the question of the ways in which academic disciplines “have” a gender.

Dr. Tanja Paulitz is a professor of sociology at the RWTH Aachen. Foto: RWTH Aachen In her work, Paulitz deals with the dimensions of knowledge in the fundamental orientation of the natural sciences and engineering. She asks how members of each academic discipline understand their own field, as well as how they characterize their work. In addition to this, Paulitz explores the kinds of positions taken by representatives of these academic fields as compared with other disciplines.

The talk focused on the wide range of technical and scientific cultures of knowledge, particularly in the field of engineering. Paulitz’s own research is based on findings from other empirical, qualitative, and comparative studies. She demonstrates how both gender and professional knowledge are intertwined, and shows that different forms of masculinity play a role in the positioning of one’s own academic field.

The lecture series “Gender Effects: How Women Are Engineering Tomorrow’s Technology” is organized by the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) in cooperation with the Competence Center Technology-Diversity-Equal Chances e.V. The lecture series will run through July 2016 and invites participants to discuss how women and men differ in the ways they use—and design—the technologies of the future, and how gender-equal technologies might function.

Tanja Paulitz is a professor at the Institute for Sociology at the Rheinisch-Westfälischen Technical University (RWTU) in Aachen, Germany. She teaches and conducts research using discursive and practical theoretical perspectives in the areas of gender studies, professionalization, and sociology, along with science and engineering research. She focuses on the genealogy of the scientific-technical modernity, masculinity and technology, academic cultures, networks, and the technology of the self. Recent publications include “Academic Cultures and Social Practices” and “Man and Machine. A genealogical sociology of knowledge of the engineer and modern engineering from 1850 to 1930.”

Tanja Paulitz gave her talk “Gender in the Academic Cultures in the Natural Sciences and Engineering” in German. The event was free and open to the public and held on Thursday, 23 June, at 4pm in Room 1.204 of the CITEC Building (Inspiration 1) on Bielefeld University’s North Campus. After the talk, attendees had the chance to continue the discussion in an informal setting.