A Cultural Perspective on Gender Inequity in STEM: The Japanese Context
Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 11, 301-309, June 2018
12 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2018
Date Written: June 16, 2018
To understand gender inequality in STEM, Miner et al. (the focal paper) illustrate how an individual lens and a social-structural lens provide complementary perspectives. They indicate that gender inequality in STEM should not be simply understood from an individual lens concerning individual choices and responsibilities but also a social-structural lens concerning societal structures, processes, and meanings associated with gender. In this commentary, we would like to bring a cultural perspective to the consideration of the STEM field. Specifically, we focus on gender inequity in STEM in Japan and elaborate how Japanese culture, which emphasizes masculinity, collectivism, and a tight culture, imposes a stronger social-structural influence on gender inequality in STEM and at the same time strengthens the use of the individual lens to explain the phenomena, making the issue of gender inequality more prominent.
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