Emotionally loaded identity and agency in Finnish academic work
Ursin, J., Vähäsantanen, K., McAlpine, L., & Hökkä, P. (2020). Emotionally loaded identity and agency in Finnish academic work. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 44(3), 311-325. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2018.1541971
Published inJournal of Further and Higher Education
DisciplineAikuiskasvatustiedeKoulutuksen tutkimuslaitosAdult EducationFinnish Institute for Educational Research
© 2018 The Authors. Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This narrative study investigated identity, agency and emotions, amongst an under-researched academic group – those without PhDs with primary responsibility for teaching, who are also expected to do research. In this interview-based paper, we examine the experience of such Finnish academics in a research-intensive university. Thematic and then narrative approaches were employed. The findings demonstrated five narratives which indicated both balanced and tensioned relations as regards academic identity, with variable perceptions of agency and emotions embedded. The study contributes in two ways: first, it adds to the little that is known of the experiences of the aforementioned under-researched academic group. Second and more broadly, it provides insight into the emotionally loaded nature of academic work, and highlights the need for future research to explore academic identity and agency as emotionally imbued phenomena.