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Girls Just Wanna be Smart? The Depiction of Women Scientists in Contemporary Crime Fiction

Bergman, Kerstin LU (2012) In International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology 4(3). p.313-329
Abstract
Portrayals of fictional scientists influence how the public perceive real scientists, and fictional scientists might serve as role models as well as inspire career choices. Crime fiction is probably the most popular fiction genre today, and fictional scientists are an important presence in the genre. This is an exploratory study of three well-known contemporary women crime fiction scientists, taken from literature, television, and film. The examples are compared and contrasted with previous studies of women scientists in fiction, as well as, more specifically, studies of women investigators in crime fiction. The women scientists in the samples are found to be skilled experts in their fields, appreciated and respected by their peers, and... (More)
Portrayals of fictional scientists influence how the public perceive real scientists, and fictional scientists might serve as role models as well as inspire career choices. Crime fiction is probably the most popular fiction genre today, and fictional scientists are an important presence in the genre. This is an exploratory study of three well-known contemporary women crime fiction scientists, taken from literature, television, and film. The examples are compared and contrasted with previous studies of women scientists in fiction, as well as, more specifically, studies of women investigators in crime fiction. The women scientists in the samples are found to be skilled experts in their fields, appreciated and respected by their peers, and making essential contributions to the solving of crimes. Nevertheless, they are simultaneously treated like children, as well as objects of sexual desire, by their co-workers, and most likely also perceived that way by the actual consumers, the viewers and readers of this fiction. Although these fictional women scientists might be ideal role models in many senses, their infantilization and sexualization signifies that the world of science is still far from gender equal. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
science, crime fiction, women scientists, NCIS, gender issues, infantilization, sexualization, role model, Abby Sciuto, Kathy Reichs, Devil Bones, Temperance Brennan, The World is Not Enough, Christmas Jones
in
International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology
volume
4
issue
3
pages
313 - 329
ISSN
2040-0748
project
Science in the Crime Genre
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9247b5ec-8dda-428d-b6d9-0f7b606e1d8d (old id 2299854)
alternative location
http://genderandset.open.ac.uk/index.php/genderandset/article/view/224/438
date added to LUP
2012-01-23 11:04:15
date last changed
2016-04-16 06:10:35
@article{9247b5ec-8dda-428d-b6d9-0f7b606e1d8d,
  abstract     = {Portrayals of fictional scientists influence how the public perceive real scientists, and fictional scientists might serve as role models as well as inspire career choices. Crime fiction is probably the most popular fiction genre today, and fictional scientists are an important presence in the genre. This is an exploratory study of three well-known contemporary women crime fiction scientists, taken from literature, television, and film. The examples are compared and contrasted with previous studies of women scientists in fiction, as well as, more specifically, studies of women investigators in crime fiction. The women scientists in the samples are found to be skilled experts in their fields, appreciated and respected by their peers, and making essential contributions to the solving of crimes. Nevertheless, they are simultaneously treated like children, as well as objects of sexual desire, by their co-workers, and most likely also perceived that way by the actual consumers, the viewers and readers of this fiction. Although these fictional women scientists might be ideal role models in many senses, their infantilization and sexualization signifies that the world of science is still far from gender equal.},
  author       = {Bergman, Kerstin},
  issn         = {2040-0748},
  keyword      = {science,crime fiction,women scientists,NCIS,gender issues,infantilization,sexualization,role model,Abby Sciuto,Kathy Reichs,Devil Bones,Temperance Brennan,The World is Not Enough,Christmas Jones},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {313--329},
  series       = {International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology},
  title        = {Girls Just Wanna be Smart? The Depiction of Women Scientists in Contemporary Crime Fiction},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2012},
}