Details

Becoming a professional : A longitudinal study of graduates'  professional trajectories from higher education to working life

by Nyström, Sofia

Abstract (Summary)

Syftet med avhandlingen är att beskriva akademikers bana mot att bli professionella då de kommer ut i arbetslivet med en magisterexamen i psykologi eller statsvetenskap.

The study has a longitudinal design where Political Science and Psychology graduates’ have been interviewed on three consecutive occasions; the last semester before graduation, the first year and then, in the third year of professional work. The theoretical frame of reference comprises a situated and social learning theory and a gender perspective. These theories were chosen since they elaborate on concepts such as identity, practice, participation and learning.

The results indicate that becoming a professional is not an isolated phenomenon merely learned and nurtured in higher education and/or in working life. It is emphasised as a dynamic learning process between a reflective individual, the interaction with a professional practice as well as a relationship between other spheres of life, e.g. the personal and the private. The graduates’ professional trajectories can be characterised by a movement from appropriating new knowledge to a need to change direction, e.g. new work tasks or professional fields. This is also a process of professional identity formation. The graduates’ professional identity is emphasised as being both closely related to a gender identity and influenced by the individuals’ belonging to and participation in other practices. The results thus indicate that professional identity formation is an interplay between different spheres of life that changes over time. By using a longitudinal design, it can be claimed that becoming a professional requires balancing one’s whole life situation.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Linköpings universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; Longitudinell studie; kvalitativ analys; professionell utveckling; identitet; anställningsbarhet; högre utbildning; arbetsliv; praktikgemenskap; genus; Longitudinell studie; kvalitativ analys; professionell utveckling; identitet; anställningsbarhet; högre utbildning; arbetsliv; praktikgemenskap; genus

ISBN:978-91-7393-691-0

Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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