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"It’s not my dream, actually": students' identity work across figured worlds of construction engineering in Sweden
Faculty of Education, McGill University, Canada.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
2019 (English)In: International Journal of STEM education, E-ISSN 2196-7822, Vol. 6, no 13, p. 1-17Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Research in engineering education has pointed to the need for new engineers to develop a broader skillsetwith an emphasis on “softer” social skills. However, there remains strong tensions in the identity work that engineersmust 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 experiencethese tensions in the final year of their construction engineering program, and as they move in and out of workplacefield experiences.Results: Using a figured worlds framework (Holland et al., Identity and agency in cultural worlds, 1998), we explore thedominant subject positions for students in construction engineering classroom and workplaces in a 3-year Swedishengineering program. Results demonstrate that dominant subject positions for construction engineers can troublestudents’ 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 andworkplace settings. The emergence of classroom and workplace masculinities that shape the dominant subject positionsavailable to students are shown to trouble the identity work that students engage in as they move across these learningspaces. We examine students’ identity strategies that contribute to their persistence through the field. Finally, we discussimplications for teaching and research in light of students’ movements across these educational contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019. Vol. 6, no 13, p. 1-17
Keywords [en]
Engineering, Masculinities, Identity, Heterogeneity
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158184DOI: 10.1186/s40594-019-0165-4ISI: 000464854700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-158184DiVA, id: diva2:1305223
Available from: 2019-04-16 Created: 2019-04-16 Last updated: 2019-09-05Bibliographically approved

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Silfver, EvaBerge, Maria

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf