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ERIC Number: EJ968518
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-0818-8068
Identity-Trajectories: Doctoral Journeys from Past to Present to Future
McAlpine, Lynn
Australian Universities' Review, v54 n1 p38-46 2012
Despite much research into doctoral education over the past two decades, theorising the field remains challenging. Recently, identity has been taken up as a conceptualising frame. Views of identity vary but often privilege the reproductive features of society, downplaying how individuals can be intentional in pursuing their desires--with the doctorate but one feature of a broader life. Further, many focus on the experience of the doctorate only rather than the doctorate as situated within earlier experiences and intentions and future imagined careers. This paper draws on evidence from a five-year research programme into doctoral experience to argue for a view of identity, identity-trajectory, that attends particularly to individual agency, interweaving the academic within the personal, and incorporating students' pasts and imagined futures. By re-focusing attention on the agency, resourcefulness and independence of doctoral students, identity-trajectory contributes pedagogically and conceptually distinct ways of framing doctoral experience. (Contains 3 endnotes.)
National Tertiary Education Union. PO Box 1323, South Melbourne 3205, Australia. Tel: +61-3-92541910; Fax: +61-3-92541915; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United Kingdom