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Moments of identity formation and reformation: a day in the working life of an academic

Moments of identity formation and reformation: a day in the working life of an academic Purpose – The purpose of the article is to illuminate micro‐processes and dynamics of identity work in an academic working context. It elaborates on the various and shifting self‐notions experienced within a typical workday of an academic. Design/methodology/approach – The study adopts an analytic autoethnographic approach focusing on recalled experiences of the author's current employment in a university department. This approach is considered to contribute to the investigation of the intensive personal process of identity construction that likewise enhances the understanding of the connection between the individual person and the organization. Findings – Illustrating the multifold notions of who one is in a particular work situation, the author demonstrates that identity work is correspondingly ongoing during the workday. Employing a workday narrative and the different self‐notions created throughout this day, the study illustrates the richness and variety in the identity work accomplished. Focusing on four particular workday events demonstrates how these situations serve as moments of identity work in the sense that they call for engaging in answering the question of who one is and how one should act. Originality/value – Promoting a micro‐perspective, the study illuminates that identity work‐processes can also be observed within the relatively small‐scaled focus of an individual workday. It proposes to understand identity work as a process of micro‐level sensemaking. The study also reveals the shifting nature of self‐notions experienced over the day. It is not only various identities that are manufactured in relation to different workday events but also that these senses of oneself come at different levels of concreteness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Organizational Ethnography Emerald Publishing

Moments of identity formation and reformation: a day in the working life of an academic

Journal of Organizational Ethnography , Volume 2 (2): 19 – Aug 23, 2013

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2046-6749
DOI
10.1108/JOE-11-2011-0001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the article is to illuminate micro‐processes and dynamics of identity work in an academic working context. It elaborates on the various and shifting self‐notions experienced within a typical workday of an academic. Design/methodology/approach – The study adopts an analytic autoethnographic approach focusing on recalled experiences of the author's current employment in a university department. This approach is considered to contribute to the investigation of the intensive personal process of identity construction that likewise enhances the understanding of the connection between the individual person and the organization. Findings – Illustrating the multifold notions of who one is in a particular work situation, the author demonstrates that identity work is correspondingly ongoing during the workday. Employing a workday narrative and the different self‐notions created throughout this day, the study illustrates the richness and variety in the identity work accomplished. Focusing on four particular workday events demonstrates how these situations serve as moments of identity work in the sense that they call for engaging in answering the question of who one is and how one should act. Originality/value – Promoting a micro‐perspective, the study illuminates that identity work‐processes can also be observed within the relatively small‐scaled focus of an individual workday. It proposes to understand identity work as a process of micro‐level sensemaking. The study also reveals the shifting nature of self‐notions experienced over the day. It is not only various identities that are manufactured in relation to different workday events but also that these senses of oneself come at different levels of concreteness.

Journal

Journal of Organizational EthnographyEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 23, 2013

Keywords: Identity; Identity work; Micro‐perspective; Autoethnography; Universities; Higher education

References