Cech's research examines cultural mechanisms
of inequality reproduction--specifically, how inequality is reproduced through
processes that are not overtly discriminatory or coercive, but rather those
that are built into seemingly innocuous cultural beliefs and practices. She
investigates this puzzle through three streams of research. First, she uses
quantitative and qualitative approaches to examine inequality in science,
technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions-specifically, the
recruitment and retention of women, LGBT, and under-represented racial/ethnic
minority students and practitioners and the role of professional cultures in
this inequality. Second, Cech examines
how cultural definitions of “good work” and “good workers” can anchor
inequality in the workforce. For
example, she examines what she calls the "self-expressive edge" of
occupational sex segregation: how the seemingly voluntary and
self-expressive-yet culturally and structurally informed-decisions of men and
women reproduce occupational sex segregation. Finally, she studies how
cultural understandings of the extent and origin of inequality helps to uphold
unequal social structures. Cech is a member of the editorial board of the
American Sociological Review and her
research has been cited in The New York
Times, TheGuardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, Huffington
Post and the news sections of Science and Nature.
A. Forthcoming. “Mechanism or Myth? Family Plans and the Reproduction of
Occupational Gender Segregation.” Gender & Society.
A. 2015. “Engineers & Engineeresses? Self-Conceptions and the Gendered Development
of Professional Identities.” Sociological
Perspectives. Vol. 58(1): 56-77.
Cech, Erin A. and Mary Blair-Loy. (2014). "Consequences
of Flexibility Stigma among Science and Engineering Faculty." Work and
Occupations. Vol. 41(1):86-110. [link]
Cech, Erin A. (2014). "Culture of Disengagement in Engineering
Education?" Science, Technology & Human Values. Vol.
39(1): 42-72. [link]
Cech, Erin A. (2013). "The Self-Expressive Edge of Occupational Sex
Segregation." American Journal of Sociology. Vol.
Cech, Erin A. (2013). "Ideological Wage Inequalities?
The Technical/Social Dualism and the Gender Wage Gap in Engineering." Social
Forces. Vol. 91(4):1147-1182. [link]
Cech, Erin A. and Tom J. Waidzunas. (2011). "Navigating
the Heteronormativity of Engineering: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, and
Bisexual Students." Engineering Studies, Vol. 3(1): 1-24. [link]
Cech, Erin, Brian Rubineau, Susan Silbey, and Carroll Seron. (2011).
"Professional Role Confidence and Gendered Persistence in
Engineering." American Sociological Review, Vol.76(5): 641-66. [link]
Cech, Erin A. and Mary Blair-Loy. (2010). "Perceiving Glass Ceilings?
Meritocratic versus Structural Explanations of Gender Inequality among Women in
Science and Technology." Social Problems, 57(3): 371-397. [link]
Cech, Erin A. 2014.
“Embed social awareness in science curricula.” Nature, Vol. 505(7484):477-8. [link]
National Science Foundation (PI) ERC Core Research: “Collaborative
Research: A Study of Interactional, Organizational and Professional Mechanisms
of Disadvantage in the Underrepresented and Marginalized STEM Workforce.” PI at Temple University: Tom Waidzunas (Awarded Sept 2015) -- $932,628
National Science Foundation (PI) GSE Grant: “The Price of Parenting in STEM: Explaining Career
Paths and Pay Consequences of Parenthood among Science and Engineering
Professionals.” Co-PI: Mary Blair-Loy. (Awarded Sept 2015) -- $396,639
National Science Foundation (Co-PI) EAGER Grant: “EAGER:
Promoting LGBTQ Equality in Engineering through Virtual Communities of Practice.” PI: Stephanie Farrell (Awarded
July 2015) -- $299,998
National Science Foundation (Co-PI) PAID-Research Grant: “Divergent
Trajectories: A Longitudinal Study of Organizational and Departmental Factors
Leading to Gender and Race Differences in STEM Faculty Advancement, Pay, and
Prestige.” PI: Mary
Blair-Loy (Awarded Sept 2011) -- $554,231
National Science Foundation (Co-PI) Doctoral Dissertation Improvement
Grant, Sociology Program “Individual
Beliefs and Occupational Sex Segregation.” (Awarded May 2010) -- $6,796
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251