Date

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Adviser

Johnson, Heather B.

Abstract

Since Hall and Sandler's 1982 assessment of the "chilly climate for women" in the college classroom, studies of gender dynamics have identified how gendered patterns of behavior in the classroom disadvantage women. Through qualitative analysis (classroom observations and interviews) of undergraduate students and classes at a private, coeducational research university, this research establishes existing gendered patterns of classroom behavior along with student awareness and interpretations of these patterns. The findings assert that despite student adherence to the belief that those who participate are the ones who "have something to say," student participation is impacted by gendered expectations. This translates into classroom behavior for female students that reflects an overt conscientiousness while male student behavior appears effortless. Students accept these gendered patterns unaware of exactly how or why they exist, and students contribute to the reproduction of these patterns unaware of the potential influence of students' own individual agency.

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Sociology Commons

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