Tensions and striving for coherence in an academic’s professional identity work
Arvaja, M. (2018). Tensions and striving for coherence in an academic’s professional identity work. Teaching in Higher Education, 23(3), 291-306. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2017.1379483
Published inTeaching in Higher Education
© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group, 2017. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License.
The emergence of ‘new managerialism’ in academic institutions and professions has given rise to tensions between one’s professional self and work context. Such tensions often originate from a misalignment between institutional and personal values. This study builds on a dialogical approach to identity and discusses the role of inner tensions and conflicts in terms of making sense of one’s professional identity. These aspects are explored and exemplified by introducing a sample case of one individual student and university researcher/teacher, Anna, who participated in one-year Pedagogical Studies for Adult Educators. Leaning on the narratives of Anna’s learning diaries and a later interview, the article describes tensions and critical conflicts in her professional I-positioning. The study shows how tensions and their resolutions, at their best, can lead to constructive identity work, thereby finding a new personal sense resulting in a more integrated professional identity.
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group, 2017. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License.
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