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Title: Narratives of women in a man's world : stories & positioning of engineering women in Kuwait
Author: Alajlan, Munirah
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 005X
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This research explores the narratives of female students who study engineering at Kuwait University with a view of looking into how they construct their professional identities and choices. Whilst the number of women who are studying engineering in Kuwait, unlike anywhere else, outnumbers the number of men, this is a largely under-investigated area in terms of narrative and identities analysis. The data for this thesis consist of narrative interviews conducted with six Kuwaiti students completing their senior year at the college of engineering and petroleum and who have also undertaken an internship in several different engineering companies and field sites. The research provides insights into the under-researched field of women's identities in engineering. The study explores the women's identities' construction through their narratives told in interview setting. Using narrative positioning theory (Bamberg 1997: 493), the analysis looks at (1) the informants' identity construction within the narrative told (Level 1), (2) the informants' local situated positioning in the talk in the interaction of the interview setting (Level 2), and finally (3), how both of these positionings assist in shaping the informant's identities towards the wider available discourses (Level 3). Through a focus on a range of linguistic choices, for instance, pronominal choices, and specific story-genres, especially generic stories, I show that the participants position themselves as agentive individuals, ready to adapt their lifestyle to institutional structures that accommodates men and the patriarchal lifestyle. Finally, the analysis revealed that the women challenged all types of the master narratives, unlike other studies that focused on women's insecurity regarding their technical abilities. The analysis also showed that, whilst engineering is a profession imbued with a culture of technical know-how, the women position themselves in the counter narratives. They rejected all types of the stereotypical image formed about female engineers in traditional society; they showed a 'tinkering image' and that they were ready join in with male counterparts in the various fields of engineering. This research contributes to the wider perspective of women in engineering and society as a whole.
Supervisor: Georgakopoulou-Nunes, Alexandra ; Rampton, Benjamin Michael Helyer Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available