The Dynamics of Professional Identity Formation: Graduates’ Transitions from Higher Education to Working Life
2009 (English)In: Vocations and Learning, ISSN 1874-785X (Print) 1874-7868 (Online), Vol. 2, no 1, 1-18 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This paper explores the development of professional identity as arelationship between professional and personal aspects of life. The focus is onstudent and novice professional psychologists’ and political scientists’ processes ofprofessional identity formation in their transition from higher education to workinglife. Drawing on Wenger’s theory of nexus of multimembership (1998), the findingsindicate that professional identity is a dynamic relationship between different lifespheres rather than an isolated phenomenon only taking place at the university or inthe work context. The analysis yielded three different forms of professional identity,non-differentiated identity, compartmentalised identity and integrated identity, whichexemplify different negotiated relationships between professional, personal andprivate life spheres. The findings show that these three forms of professionalidentities are sequential, from an individual focus to more relational and integratedways of reasoning about one’s profession. It is through the negotiations betweenpersonal and socially derived imperatives that identity formation progressesthroughout working lives.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer , 2009. Vol. 2, no 1, 1-18 p.
Professional identity formation, Higher education, Working life, Longitudinal study
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16810DOI: 10.1007/s12186-008-9014-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-16810DiVA: diva2:174200