Martin, L. S.
MetadataShow full item record
CitationMartin, L. S. 2021. Astrofeminism. Master's thesis, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.
AbstractWhile observing Earth from space, many astronauts have experienced a cognitive shift in awareness often described as the Overview Effect (White, 1987). Their collective descriptions express a recognition of the fragility of our planet, awe and the oneness of humanity. Yet, the sentiment of equality and unity expressed in the Overview Effect is not practiced within the organizational culture of the space sector itself. The core question I pursue is: are existing norms within aerospace based upon gendered assumptions? My hypothesis is that systems of oppression inhibit women from founding, developing and enacting smart-powered priorities within outer space. Building upon Simone de Beauvoir’s feminist existentialism (1949), Françoise d'Eaubonne’s concept of Ecofeminism (1974) and Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of Intersectional feminism (1989), I propose “Astrofeminism” as a new lens through which to better understand and more thoroughly examine the mechanisms of maintenance that allow white, patriarchal systems of oppression to persist and dominate within the aerospace sector.
Methodology: This thesis incorporates 6 unique space industry data sets (n=2,381) utilizing publicly available information to more accurately define and address the gendered data gap within the sector.
Conclusions: Results show that gendered gaps within the space sector persist. Findings also indicate that systems of oppression are, for the most part, treated as a given rather than being problematized and resolved. Systems of oppression, combined with a range of factors from unconscious bias, systemic racism, gendered data gaps and a lack of equal access to capital and decision-making power, inhibit women from founding aerospace companies.
Implications: Policy implications suggest an Astrofeminist analysis as practices that promote equality and boost diversity within the aerospace sector.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37368121
- DCE Theses and Dissertations