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  • 1.
    Axelsson, Rose-Marie
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Work and Working Life. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Formbara människor: Högre utbildning och arbete som utsnitt ur läkares och civilingenjörers levnadsbanor2008Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The focus of this thesis is the formation of knowledge and professional identification through physicians’ and engineers’ education and work – life-trajectories are the frame of interpretation. The aim is to describe and interpret the relationship between higher education and work, partly by studying ideas in research and educational policy, partly by people’s subjectivity, experiences and everyday life. This study is based on text analysis and interviews with physicians and engineers. The characteristic of this study is that processes are described and interpreted through a longitudinal design.

    The theoretical framework is built up by three interrelated themes: knowledge and dynamics in contemporary society; higher education and work; the reflexivity of the individuals. An overarching interpretive approach is applied, and the concepts of flexibility, stability and ambivalence are used dialectically in the analysis of empirical data.

    The study indicates interplay between subjectivity, everyday life experiences and conditions in different practices. The informants’ educational and career choice can be understood as expressions of reflexive life-projects or as subjective dynamics. Becoming an engineer or physician stand out as substantially different processes. The engineers in information technology are becoming generalists and are “playing the game with a safe hand”, while the physicians becoming characters and are “playing the game with oneself as stake”. At work the engineers are using their title as a flexible strategy – identification is confined to place of work, occupation and working hours. The physicians’ identification with their profession is a fixed state of mind – they are always physicians, even in their leisure time – the profession is associated with their personality. The results indicate that both engineers and physicians careers can be characterised by life-long qualification. It appears as a strongly excluding factor.

    The relationship between higher education and work is discussed as life-trajectories and in terms of formable and sustainable life.

  • 2.
    Axelsson, Rose-Marie
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Work and Working Life. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Learning in Working Life and Educational Settings. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Abrandt Dahlgren, Madeleine
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher Education. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Dahlgren, Lars-Owe
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher Education. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Conceptualising Professional Identification as Flexibility, Stability and Ambivalence2010In: Learning through Practice: Models, Traditions, Orientations and Approaches / [ed] Stephen Billett, Dordrecht: Springer , 2010, p. 120-138Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter discusses physicians’ and engineers’ professional identity formation through engagement in practice. First, the concept of professional identification as the enactment of life politics is advanced. Professional identification is here viewed as an ongoing process in the context of lifelong learning, where learners’ subjectivities and life trajectories are significant. Second, the concepts flexibility, stability and ambivalence are introduced and used dialectically as analytical tools for understanding physicians’ and engineers’ experiences of learning through their different practices. In discussing these concepts, we illustrate the conception of life-politics by means of empirical examples of how subjectivity, everyday life expe­ri­ences, and conditions in different practices interplay in the process of professional identification. Third, we show how the processes of becoming an engineer or a physician stand as substantially different processes, seemingly more or less articulated and determined. Moreover, being an engineer or physician reflects additional aspects of learning through the process of identification with the professional role, including the impact of the work itself and of the personal self. In all, our findings suggest that the engineers identify with the content and nature of the work itself as a flexible strategy, thereby making the identification with the profession ambivalent. The physicians, on the other hand, seem to build a character as a doctor with which they identify permanently, thereby shaping a fragile boundary between their selves and the profession.  Finally, an interpretive model is proposed, where the life-politics of the individuals is expressed through flexi­bi­li­ty, sta­bility, and ambivalence.

  • 3.
    Axelsson, Rose-Marie
    et al.
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Work and Working Life. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Learning in Working Life and Educational Settings. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Work and Working Life. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Learning in Working Life and Educational Settings. Linköping University, HELIX Vinn Excellence Centre.
    On the move: Swedish physicians' experiences of the transition from higher education to working life2003In: Education as a critical force: myth or reality?, Copenhagen: The Danish University of Education , 2003, p. 99-99Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this mainly descriptive study is to sketch out how recently graduated physicians experience the transition from higher education to working life. As a part of a more extensive research project 12 physicians, who had been working for a few months, were interviewed. The physicians were asked to talk about what they perceived as central aspects of their university-education and what they had learned, their experience of the transition and the first encounter with working life. During the qualitative analysis a complex picture of the process has emerged and it is difficult to distinguish any homogeneity in the physicians’ experiences.

  • 4.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    et al.
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Work and Working Life. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Learning in Working Life and Educational Settings. Linköping University, HELIX Vinn Excellence Centre.
    Axelsson, Rose-Marie
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Learning in Working Life and Educational Settings. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    A Time of Change: Graduates' experiences' of the transition from higher education to working life2004In: The Positioning of Education in Contemporary Knowledge Society, Reykjavik: Iceland University of Education , 2004, p. 63-63Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The transition from higher education to work is a period of significant change for the individual that will affect many parts of the new graduate's life and is also important from an organisational perspective. Our intention is to empirically investigate the processes that are taking place during this period of change. Specifically, the aim of this study is to explore how 24 recently graduated physicians and 24 civil engineers, from different universities in Sweden, perceive the transition from higher education to work and the first period at work. The interviews concerned the graduates' experiences and understandings. They were asked to talk about how they perceived and would like to characterise the transition, how they view their education retrospectively in relation to their present work, and notions of the encounter. In the qualitative analysis of the material we strived to find variation in the physicians' and the engineers' respective experiences in order to reach an understanding of what the transitional process means to the graduates and what the complexity in the transitional process entails for the graduate. This period is mainly characterised by learning how to tackle new situations that occur and to survive the every day work.

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