The Double Bind in Physics Education

The Double Bind in Physics Education Intersectionality, Equity, and Belonging for Women of Color

Maria Ong, Foreword by Shirley M. Malcom
paper, 272 Pages
Pub. Date: May 2023
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-783-1
Price: $38.00

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Pub. Date: May 2023
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-784-8

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An incisive study of the mechanisms reinforcing the underrepresentation of women of color in STEM fields and a call for systemic change to address the imbalance. 
In a detailed exploration of inclusion in physics, social scientist Maria Ong makes the case for far-reaching higher education reform, noting that despite diversity efforts to recruit more women and students of color into science and mathematics programs, many leave the STEM pipeline. The Double Bind in Physics Education takes readers inside the issue by following 10 women of color from their entrance into the undergraduate physics program at a large research university through their pursuit of various educational and career paths. Candid interviews with these women, their instructors and mentors, and their peers, conducted over 25 years, allow Ong to trace how pervasive challenges, such as navigating the intersectionality of race and gender discrimination, have shaped their academic opportunities and career choices. 


Centering and relaying the experiences of women of color in physics through their lenses and voices, over the course of a 25-year study, Ong masterfully illuminates barriers and navigation strategies that inform us all on how to ensure positive career trajectories for everyone. — Gilda Barabino, president, Olin College

Grounded in research and practice, this compelling book skillfully reveals the experiences of women of color navigating systemic challenges in the field of physics. The individual distinctiveness and the interconnections among the women are highlighted, leading to persuasive recommendations for organizational and cultural change in the field. — Sharon Fries-Britt, professor of higher education, University of Maryland

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About the Author

Maria Ong is a senior research scientist at TERC. She is a member and former co-chair of the Social Science Advisory Board of the National Center for Women & Information Technology and an advisor to the Arizona State University Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology.

E-book available through online booksellers

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