Who Speaks and Who Listens: Revisiting the Chilly Climate in College Classrooms

Gender and Society 35 (1):32-60 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Almost 40 years ago, scholars identified a “chilly climate” for women in college classrooms. To examine whether contemporary college classrooms remain “chilly,” we conducted quantitative and qualitative observations in nine classrooms across multiple disciplines at one elite institution. Based on these 95 hours of observation, we discuss three gendered classroom participation patterns. First, on average, men students occupy classroom sonic space 1.6 times as often as women. Men also speak out without raising hands, interrupt, and engage in prolonged conversations during class more than women students. Second, style and tone also differ. Men’s language is assertive, whereas women’s is hesitant and apologetic. Third, professors’ interventions and different structures of classrooms can alter existing gender status hierarchies. Extending Ridgeway’s gender system framework to college classrooms, we discuss how these gendered classroom participation patterns perpetuate gender status hierarchies. We thus argue that the chilly climate is an underexplored mechanism for the stalled gender revolution.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,075

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Recent Texts in Pre-College Philosophy.Jana Mohr Lone - 2011 - Teaching Philosophy 34 (1):51-67.
Considering the Classroom as a Safe Space.David Sackris - 2017 - APA Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy 17 (1):17-23.
Learning in College: Beyond the Classroom.Savitha Suresh Babu - 2017 - Tattva - Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):1-10.
Power-Sharing in the Philosophy Classroom: Prospects and Pitfalls.Frances Bottenberg - 2015 - American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy 1:33-46.


Added to PP

126 (#144,463)

6 months
108 (#39,509)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?