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Posted: September 6th, 2023

Underrepresentation of Black and minority individuals in STEM fields

Pick a social issue pertaining to race, that is of interest to you and analyze the issue using the weekly readings. You must define the social issue, why it is important to you, how it relates to class themes and concepts, and how the course themes and concepts can help to solve/resolve the social problem. For example, you can examine the school-to-prison-pipeline, how it takes place, why it takes place, the ramifications of this process, and how social theory can help to shed light this issue. Or systemic racism: carceral, education, housing, etc., can be examined and connected to the chapter that specifically talks about each topic.
You can use any format that you are comfortable with. The final paper must be between 3-5 pages in length, double spaced, 12 font and Times Roman and the following:
• A citing of the chapter you are reflecting upon (in text citations with page numbers) • One peer-reviewed journal article source that supports your reflection ( • At least one of the theories that were covered on week 1 • Explain how the issue/topic affects a minority group • Be focused on the issues of race, ethnicity, it’s social construction and ramifications. • Works Cited Page


Underrepresentation of Black and minority individuals in STEM fields. This issue is important to me because I am currently pursuing a career in the sciences and have noticed the lack of diversity in my field. I believe that this lack of diversity not only perpetuates systemic racism but also limits scientific progress and innovation. This issue relates to class themes and concepts such as race, ethnicity, and social construction, and can be analyzed through the lens of critical race theory.

The Underrepresentation of Black and Minority Individuals in STEM Fields

Despite efforts to increase diversity in STEM fields, Black and minority individuals continue to be underrepresented in these areas. According to a report by the National Science Foundation, in 2017, Black and Hispanic individuals accounted for only 9% and 7% of individuals in science and engineering occupations, respectively (NSF, 2019, p. 2-16). This underrepresentation can be attributed to several factors, including systemic racism, lack of resources, and discrimination.

Systemic racism plays a significant role in perpetuating the underrepresentation of Black and minority individuals in STEM fields. The social construct of race and ethnicity has led to the creation of social and economic barriers that limit access to education, funding, and resources. For example, in the United States, predominantly minority schools often lack the necessary resources and funding to provide students with adequate science and math education (Darling-Hammond, 2020, p. 103). This lack of resources limits opportunities for minority students to pursue careers in STEM fields and perpetuates the underrepresentation of these individuals in these areas.

Additionally, discrimination and bias also play a role in limiting diversity in STEM fields. Black and minority individuals are often subjected to stereotypes and biases that portray them as less competent or qualified than their white counterparts (Sue et al., 2019, p. 239). These biases can lead to discrimination in the hiring process, promotion, and funding opportunities, further perpetuating the underrepresentation of Black and minority individuals in STEM fields.

Critical race theory can be used to analyze the underrepresentation of Black and minority individuals in STEM fields. This theory examines the intersection of race, power, and law to understand how racism is perpetuated in society (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017, p. 3). In the context of STEM fields, critical race theory can be used to understand how systemic racism and discrimination perpetuate the underrepresentation of Black and minority individuals.

How Course Themes and Concepts Can Help Solve the Social Problem

Course themes and concepts can be used to address the underrepresentation of Black and minority individuals in STEM fields. One concept that can be applied is social justice, which involves the fair distribution of resources and opportunities regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status (Katz & Fullerton, 2016, p. 113). To address the lack of resources and funding for minority schools, social justice principles can be applied to ensure that all schools have access to adequate resources and funding.

Another concept that can be applied is diversity and inclusion, which involves creating a culture of respect and valuing differences in individuals (Mor Barak, 2017, p. 14). To address discrimination and bias in STEM fields, diversity and inclusion principles can be applied to create a culture that values and respects the contributions of Black and minority individuals in these areas.


In conclusion, the underrepresentation of Black and minority individuals in STEM fields is a significant social issue that perpetuates systemic racism and limits scientific progress and innovation. This issue can be analyzed through the lens of critical race theory and addressed through course themes and concepts such as social justice and diversity and inclusion. By addressing the social and economic barriers that limit access to education, funding, and resources for Black and

Darling-Hammond, L. (2020). Race, inequality, and education in America. Phi Delta Kappan, 102(6), 99-106.

Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2017). Critical race theory: An introduction (3rd ed.). New York University Press.

Katz, A. H., & Fullerton, J. (2016). Handbook of social justice theory and research. Springer.

Mor Barak, M. E. (2017). Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. SAGE Publications.

Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Torino, G. C., Bucceri, J. M., Holder, A. M. B., Nadal, K. L., & Esquilin, M. (2019). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist, 74(1), 64-78.

National Science Foundation (2019). Science and engineering indicators 2020.

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