“Significant Matter” in Sociomaterial Analysis of Educational Choices

Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 19)


This chapter thematises gender and educational choices through a close-reading of three Norwegian women’s stories about choosing physics-related STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) in order to explore how the act of choosing an education may be identified as a sociomaterial practice. Often, people choose a particular educational path because they are interested in a subject. Campaigns to recruit women to the STEM subjects have, therefore, focused on what they believe attracts women to the sciences. In this chapter the authors turn from focusing on gender as a variable for explaining interest in STEM, to examine empirical data concerning women’s educational choices. The interaction between human and material factors also involves embodied experiences, something which gives gender agency. This discussion contributes a greater understanding of the factors that come into play when one chooses a path for education and the ways that educational choices can be influenced through material experiences and practices both in and outside educational institutions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Malmö UniversityMalmöSweden

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