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ERIC Number: EJ1036677
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1954
Contradiction and Conflict between "Leading Identities": Becoming an Engineer versus Becoming a "Good Muslim" Woman
Black, Laura; Williams, Julian
Educational Studies in Mathematics, v84 n1 p1-14 Sep 2013
This paper builds on previous work (Black et al., "Educational Studies in Mathematics" 73(1):55-72, 2010) which developed the notion of a "leading identity" (derived from Leont'ev's concept of "leading activity") which, we argued, defined students' motive for studying during late adolescence. We presented two case studies of students in post-compulsory education (Mary and Lee) and highlighted how the concept of a leading identity might be relevant to understanding motivation in mathematics education and particularly the "exchange value" or "use value" of mathematics for these students. (Lee's identity was mediated by mathematics' potential exchange value in becoming a university student, and Mary's more by its perceived use value to her leading identity as an engineer.) In this paper, we follow up Mary's story as she progresses to university, and we see how she is now "led" by contradictory motives and identities: Mary's aspirations and decisions seem to be now as much related to her identity as a Muslim woman as to her identity as an engineer. Therefore, we argue that more than one identity/activity may be considered as "leading" at this point in time--e.g. work versus motherhood/parenting, for instance--and this raises conflicts and tensions. We conclude with a more reflexive account of leading identity which recognises the adolescent's developing awareness of self--an ongoing process of organisation as they experience contradictions in managing their education, work, domestic, community and other lives.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A