Episode 202 Professor Erin A. Cech, PhD.
Dan Sterenchuk and Tommy Estlund are honored to have as our guest, Professor Erin A. Cech, PhD.
Erin A. Cech is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Associate Professor by courtesy in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Cech joined the University of Michigan in 2016. Before coming to UM, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University and was on faculty at Rice University. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology in 2011 from the University of California, San Diego and undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Sociology from Montana State University.
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 avenues 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 the role of the “passion principle” in the reproduction of occupational inequalities: how seemingly voluntary and self-expressive career decisions help reproduce processes like occupational sex segregation. Finally, she studies how cultural understandings of the extent and origin of inequality help to uphold unequal social structures. Cech’s research is funded by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation. She is a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Sociology and her research has been cited in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Time, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Forbes, Chronicle of Higher Education and the news sections of Science and Nature.
Cech's first book, The Trouble with Passion: How Searching for Fulfilment at Work Fosters Inequality (University of California Press) is out Nov 9th, but it is available for preorder at the link below, or through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.
Professor Cech’s website: https://erinacech.com
has information about her other research and links to talks and presentations.
Note: Guests create their own bio description for each episode.
Tommy and Dan requested and were provided with a review copy of the book in preparation for interviewing Professor Cech. Thank you to the publisher and Professor Cech for providing us with these review copies!
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