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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimir: 1072-8325
ISSN En Línea: 1940-431X

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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2016015512
pages 199-221

"HOW DO I SHOW THEM I'M MORE THAN A PERSON WHO CAN LIFT HEAVY THINGS?" THE FUNDS OF KNOWLEDGE OF LOW INCOME, FIRST GENERATION ENGINEERING STUDENTS

Jessica M. Smith
Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois Street, Golden CO, USA
Juan C. Lucena
Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois Street, Golden CO, USA

SINOPSIS

This article draws on ethnographic research with low income, first generation (LIFG) students at an engineering university and community college to explore the relevance of the students' funds of knowledge for engineering and strategies for converting those funds of knowledge into economic, cultural and social capital. Specifically, it finds that by virtue of their background experiences, LIFG students develop funds of knowledge in designing and solving problems in the midst of scarcity, empathizing, and recognizing the sociotechnical nature of engineering problem definition, solving and design. This paper argues that these funds of knowledge position them to excel in making the social justice dimensions of engineering visible, but that they must first be converted into different forms of capital with high exchange rates within engineering.


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