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"It's not my dream, actually": Students' identity work across figured worlds of construction engineering in Sweden
McGill University.
Umeå universitet.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3407-9007
Umeå universitet.
2019 (English)In: International Journal of STEM education, E-ISSN 2196-7822, Vol. 6, p. 1-17, article id 13Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Research in engineering education has pointed to the need for new engineers to develop a broader skill-set with an emphasis on “softer” social skills. However, there remains strong tensions in the identity work that engineers must engage in to balance the technical demands of the discipline with the new emphasis on heterogeneous skills (Faulkner, Social Studies of Science 37:331–356, 2007). This study explores how three unconventional students experience these tensions in the final year of their construction engineering program, and as they move in and out of workplace field experiences.

Results

Using a figured worlds framework (Holland et al., Identity and agency in cultural worlds, 1998), we explore the dominant subject positions for students in construction engineering classroom and workplaces in a 3-year Swedish engineering program. Results demonstrate that dominant subject positions for construction engineers can trouble students’ identity work as they move across classroom and workplace settings.

Conclusions

This study expands our knowledge of the complexity of students’ identity work across classroom and workplace settings. The emergence of classroom and workplace masculinities that shape the dominant subject positions available to students are shown to trouble the identity work that students engage in as they move across these learning spaces. We examine students’ identity strategies that contribute to their persistence through the field. Finally, we discuss implications for teaching and research in light of students’ movements across these educational contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 6, p. 1-17, article id 13
Keywords [en]
Engineering, Masculinities, Identity, Heterogeneity
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-377551DOI: 10.1186/s40594-019-0165-4ISI: 000464854700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-377551DiVA, id: diva2:1290821
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2019-02-21 Created: 2019-02-21 Last updated: 2019-08-19Bibliographically approved

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Danielsson, Anna

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