Edited By Airi Liimets, Marika Veisson, Pertti Kansanen and Edgar Krull
Constructions of Academic Identity at University: Processes ‘Taken-For-Granted’ (Kristiina Krabi)
Kristiina Krabi Constructions of Academic Identity at University: Processes ‘Taken-For-Granted’ Abstract This article focuses on the discursive construction of the identity of academics in the con- text of the changing university environment� Positioning theory (Harré & van Langenhove, 1999) is used as a framework to examine identity constructions and implications� The results from a qualitative study, which involved 20 academics from Tallinn Univer- sity are presented� The data were collected using narrative interviews and analyzed using positioning analysis� The analysis suggests that academics use various, conflicting and available (traditional) discourses to construct their identities� Theoretical and practical reflection on identity construction is needed for academics in order to support their adjustment, development and overall (innovative) practices at university� Keywords: Academic, university, identity construction, identity discourses, narrative, positioning� Introduction This article focuses on the identity construction patterns of academics in the context of one university� Academics are key professionals in society, impacting both on the development of their students and profession and their own aca- demic and professional field within the university (Enders, 2007, 5)� In Estonia, as in many other countries, academics are challenged by the growth and het- erogeneity of students, changes in university structures, and emerging policies and changes in higher education (Enders, 2001; Vallaste, Klooster & Kurvits, 2008, 6)� Although academics have a significant impact and face substantial changes, there has been little research on the academics’ experiences, who they are and what they do, the challenges they face and their identity construction in times of change; however, in...
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