Developing collaboration race and gender repertoire theory as applied to STEM policy

Marla A. Parker, Barry Bozeman


This paper develops a collaborative race and gender repertoire (CRGR) theory explaining how racial and gender awareness influence science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) collaboration behaviors and choices of team members.  We are particularly interested in the application of CRGR in the STEM higher education context, which persists as a hotbed for diversity initiatives. Using the scientific technical human capital (STHC) model as a departure point, we cultivate the CRGR theory considering three primary factors: the collaborative norms of scientists; social exchange dynamics; and the development and use of racial and gender awareness. While theories abound specifically explaining the role of race and gender in educational, career and social outcomes, fewer of these theories consider the unique aspects of STEM culture and institutions - particularly collaboration and team based science, which are critical for STEM knowledge production. We assert that a specific theory accounting for the STEM context can motivate more strategic efforts to achieve substantive diversity; promote STEM production; and avoid public value failure.


Gender; race; collaboration; science; inequality

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