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How Do Makerspaces Communicate Who Belongs? Examining Gender Inclusion through the Analysis of User Journey Maps in a Makerspace

Marijel Melo


The tension between cultivating inclusive library makerspaces and the gender biases rooted in the spatial configurations of makerspaces are examined in this article. This case study outlines a pilot study that investigated the relationship between gender identity and the decisions that study participants made regarding how and why they navigated a library makerspace in a certain way. Specifically, the guiding research question asked: “How does gender identity potentially impact the creation processes and behaviors of students in tech-centric environments such as makerspaces?” The study yielded three preliminary findings: men-identified users were more mobile in the makerspace than women-identified users; conventional makerspace technologies were readily coded as being either associated with men or women; participants pointed to gender identity as a factor informing their decisioning during their collaborative making experience.

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ISSN: 21586195

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