n South African Journal of Higher Education - Shifting selves : constructing and negotiating academic identities

Volume 24, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This study set out to explore how academics construct and negotiate their identities within the world of the academe. Identity construction involves different forms of community participation and identification. Utilising the research methodology of narrative inquiry, this article explores how academics came to see themselves across those communities which were of primary importance to them in the formation of their identities. Through the construction of narratives of experience, their lived and told stories emphasised the diversity of their identities that were negotiated with others within personal, historical and situational contexts. The article will conclude by recognising that the study of academics' lives from their perspective, in which they actively and socially develop their identities, not only provides a lens through which they can be understood as shifting constructions of identity, but allows them to rethink who they are and have become and what influence power relations have had in promoting or negating their sense of academic self.

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