The gendering of tech selves: Aspirations for computing jobs among Jewish and Arab/Palestinian adolescents in Israel

Jason Budge, Maria Charles, Yariv Feniger, Halleli Pinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study uses original survey data to compare aspirations for computing jobs (“tech aspirations”) between students in Arabic- and Hebrew-language school sectors in Israel. Analogous to “paradoxical” patterns previously documented in cross-national studies, results show a smaller gender gap in tech aspirations in schools serving the more socioeconomically precarious Arab/Palestinian population. The strongest predictor of tech aspirations is students’ personal identification with computing workers, but this “tech identity” cannot account for sectoral differences in the aspirations gender gap because it is stronger for boys than girls in both school sectors. Although mathematics affinity and academic instrumentalism are both greater in the Arabic-language school sector, these social-psychological variables also have limited power to explain sectoral differences in tech aspirations. The belief that computer science is for boys, by contrast, positively affects tech aspirations of Jewish but not Palestinian boys, suggesting that variability in the tech gender gap may partly reflect group-specific effects of gender stereotyping. Results underscore the importance of an intersectional approach for understanding the social-psychological drivers of STEM aspirations and how they vary across social groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102245
JournalTechnology in Society
Volume73
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2023

Keywords

  • Computing
  • Education
  • Gender
  • Israel
  • STEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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