The Development of Science as a Personal Project: Male and Female Students about the Prospects of the Development of Russian Science

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Abstract

Objective. The study, based on a comparative analysis, provides an answer to the question about the features of designing strategies for involvement in scientific activities among male and female students at regional universities. Background. Traditionally, science is considered a male field of activity, less accessible to women. The article presents a point of view according to which gender stereotypes are the basis of gender asymmetry in science. A special role in the transmission of gender norms at the stage of primary gender socialization is assigned to the family and school, while the fact of gender stereotyping constructed by education in the choice of profession is stated. Girls, even with academic success, reproduce outdated gender stereotypes, considering science as a sphere of “male self-realization”. Study design. The collection of data on the social perceptions and social attitudes of the students was carried out using the "Scientific Priorities" questionnaire (25 statements about science). This questionnaire was filled in by the study participants based on 8 modalities (“important to me”/high personal importance; “ready to participate”/willingness to act; “important for my faculty”; “important for my university”; “important for the Russian science”; “important for the development of science and universities in the countries of the East”; “important for the development of science and universities in the countries of the West”; “important for the development of world science as a whole”). Next, a comparative analysis of 2 groups (male and female students) was used with interpretation in line with gender methodology. Participants. Sample: 387 students (321 female students and 66 male students) specializing in medicine, psychology and pedagogy from the universities of Kirov, Kursk and Nizhny Novgorod. Measurements. The survey questionnaire “Scientific priorities” focused on the objectives of the study was used. The statements in the questionnaire are combined into four blocks: traditional ideas about the development of science; current trends; block of socio-economic deprivation; sensitivity to political change. Results. At regional universities, male students studying at the faculties of “helping professions”, defining the priorities of scientific development, formulate them in accordance with the values and priorities of “male culture”: a technological bias, a high role of competition and an orientation towards a high status of a scientist in society. At regional universities, female students studying at the faculties of “helping professions” demonstrate an interest in the development of science, but do not consider science as a “personal project”. In addition, when studying the social ideas and attitudes of students in the field of science development, the phenomenon of a positive assessment of a remote object was revealed. Among the male and female students surveyed, the social perceptions of Russian science turned out to be the most consimilar. Conclusions. It is concluded that gender stereotypes reproduced at the level of students' self-concept are oriented towards supporting the usual format of “masculinization of science”. However, to restore the positions of female students in the field of scientific work, it is not enough just to change gender stereotypes and social perceptions. To support women researchers, social programs are needed to help girls combine professional life in science and motherhood.

General Information

Keywords: science, scientific activity, science development priorities, science masculinization, social (gender) stereotypes

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/sps.2022130405

Funding. The study was supported by the Strategic Academic Leadership Program “Priority 2030” of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia.

Received: 18.09.2022

Accepted:

For citation: Radina N.K., Semyonova L.E., Kozlova A.V. The Development of Science as a Personal Project: Male and Female Students about the Prospects of the Development of Russian Science. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2022. Vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 68–89. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2022130405. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Nadezhda K. Radina, Doctor of Political Science, Professor, PhD in Psychology, Professor of the Department of General and Social Psychology, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod — National Research University, Senior Research Fellow, Laboratory of Theory and Practice of Decision Support Systems (TAPRADESS), National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8336-1044, e-mail: rasv@yandex.ru

Lidia E. Semyonova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Professor of the Department of General and Social Psychology, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod — National Research University, Professor of the Department of General and Clinical Psychology of the Privolzhsky Research Medical University of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5077-394X, e-mail: verunechka08@list.ru

Anastasiya V. Kozlova, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2629-9157, e-mail: anastasia_kozlova94@mail.ru

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