Ethel Mickey

Ethel Mickey
Curriculum Vitae
B.A., Vanderbilt University; M.A., Northeastern University; Ph.D., Northeastern University

Ethel Mickey

Visiting Lecturer in Sociology

Studies gender, work and organizations, and social networks, with a focus on high-tech and STEM settings

My research explores the relational mechanisms of inequality undergirding the technology sector in the United States. Through a qualitative case-study of an elite high-tech firm, I study the gendered networking practices, experiences, and outcomes of professional networking. By considering how individuals “do” or perform gender as they network, I identify subtle interactive processes perpetuating intersectional inequalities within STEM fields like high-tech. This project reveals the exclusionary nature of networking, including the unintended consequences of corporate networking programs designed to improve organizational diversity and the status of women and minorities. The stories of discrimination from high-tech workers have driven me to further explore questions of sexual harassment in the networked society, and I have collaborated on a project that investigates the history of grassroots feminist activism targeting campus sexual harassment. My work has appeared in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography; Aggression and Violent Behavior; and Feminist Formations.

The goal of my teaching is for students to connect their diverse, lived experiences to society. Through problem-posing exercises, debates, and group discussions, students develop a critical lens to challenge sociocultural assumptions and discover means for social change. I teach courses that encourage students to approach complex questions of inequality from an intersectional lens, and at Wellesley I will be teaching Schools and Society (SOC 207); Technology: Progress, Power, and Problems (SOC 208); and Science, Technology, and the Making of Identities & Differences (WRIT 166). Given my own methodological preference for qualitative research, my courses focus on learning through doing, with students acquiring empirical research skills through interview projects and mini-ethnographies. 

In line with my scholarship and teaching, I have worked with feminist organizations aimed at transforming the academy and society at large, particularly through supporting underrepresented and marginalized workers in STEM fields. For the 2018-2019 year, I will be a Virtual Visiting Scholar with the Association for Women in Science (funded through the National Science Foundation), developing publicly available resources on the status of women faculty in STEM.


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