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ERIC Number: ED346464
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Outsiders Within: Identity Conflicts in Non-Traditional Student Writers.
Aronson, Anne
A study examined how a group of non-traditional students approached the issue of multiple identities, i.e., those identities of gender, race, culture, ethnicity, region, nation, class, sexual orientation and so on that made up each individual self. In-depth interviews with eight returning adult women attending a Catholic women's college in the midwest explored principally the women's histories as writers, but also their lives as students, daughters, partners, workers, etc. Comments from three study participants illustrate the two major patterns in how participants' multiple identities affected them as writers. In the first pattern, women who feel alienated or estranged from one or more of their identities or have difficulty living with the tension created by conflicting identities, tend to see themselves as less empowered writers. In the second pattern, women who are able to juggle, negotiate, and/or integrate their multiple and conflicted identities tend to experience themselves as writers who can move about with ease and confidence among many discourses and writing situations. They are what sociologist Patricia Hill Collins calls "outsiders within," writers who see their conflicting identities as an opportunity rather than a barrier to voice. Ideally, classrooms provide students like these with places where they can sort through their identities--places which respond positively to the rhetorical and discursive ruptures which may result as they affirm their plural selves. (SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A