Self-portrait with Mortar Board: A Study of Academic Identity Using the Map, the Novel and the Grid

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    Abstract

    This paper introduces the ‘map’, the ‘novel’ and the ‘grid’, three strategies inspired by the creative arts which potentially enrich higher education research by revealing layers of truth otherwise difficult to discern. The ‘map’ was inspired by the Map of an Englishman, an etching by Grayson Perry RA. It is used to create and analyse a visualisation of academic identity. The ‘novel’ depends upon finding an appropriate work of fiction to provide an analytical framework of metaphorical themes which help to draw out social and cultural issues. The ‘grid’ visually encodes the themes underlying large quantities of electronic communication to create a graphical précis of discourse at a chosen point in time. I demonstrate these strategies in an autoethnographic study of academic identity. My findings echo and enhance those of other studies into academic identity, suggesting the strategies could be helpful ways of seeing and understanding the research context. Publisher statement: This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the journal “Higher Education Research & Development” © 2013 Copyright Taylor & Francis; Higher Education Research & Development is available online at :- www.tandfonline.com and http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07294360.2012.751525
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)96-108
    JournalHigher Education Research & Development
    Volume32
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

    This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the
    journal “Higher Education Research & Development” © 2013 Copyright Taylor &
    Francis; Higher Education Research & Development is available online at :-
    www.tandfonline.com and
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07294360.2012.751525

    Keywords

    • academic identity
    • autoethnography
    • creative arts
    • higher education research
    • research strategies

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