ERIC Number: EJ1105868
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
"Being an English Major, Being a Humanities Student": Connecting Academic Subject Identity in Literary Studies to Other Social Domains
Chan, Evelyn T. Y.
Studies in Higher Education, v41 n9 p1656-1673 2016
This study examined students' construction of academic subject identity in a university humanities discipline, English literary studies. In so doing, the study aimed to provide an empirically grounded intervention in current debates on the value of the humanities in higher education. Eight students participated in interviews lasting 15-20 minutes each. Narrative methodology was aligned with the social constructionist paradigm to investigate identity construction and emergence. These showed students' creative agency as well as careful negotiation with existing social views. They revealed a variety of identity stability and conflict, determined by one key issue: whether or not students felt they could competently translate their subject identities into other social domains relevant to their lives. These findings improve current understanding of the value of humanities education by showing students' perspective instead of educational practitioners'. They also point to possible educational intervention strategies to increase students' competence in subject identity construction.
Descriptors: English Instruction, College English, Majors (Students), Personal Narratives, Undergraduate Students, Higher Education, Intellectual Disciplines, Humanities, Interviews, Foreign Countries, Social Influences, Humanities Instruction, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A