Gendered engineering culture in Turkey: Construction and transformation

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015




In this study, I aim to understand gendered aspects in professional culture of engineering and its transformation in contemporary Turkey by using a theoretical tool called "Gendered engineering culture”. Deriving from the results of this study, I argue that engineering profession has a prestigious image in Turkey’s society. This image has transformed due to economic and political changes. Secondly, engineering profession in Turkey is based on gendered codes and ideals. These codes mainly adress male engineer as the ideal type. Yet, this definition of masculinity has certain limits peculiar to Turkey which values mathematical ability in addition to physical toughness. In addition, findings of this study provide constrasting perspectives from different cohorts of women engineers concerning the change in gendered structure of engineering profession in Turkey. Findings of this study also indicate that gendered engineering culture manifest in engineers’ communication styles; belittling jokes, daily language, caricatures, also in gendered job ads, and segregation of certain tasks in work organization which finally affects promotion strategies. The ways gendered engineering culture manifest itself affects men and women engineers differently; women need to struggle more than men in order to survive in engineering environment.