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Identity negotiation and the equality agenda in universities.

Boyd, Hannah K. 2009. Identity negotiation and the equality agenda in universities. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This thesis explores current issues in the UK student related equality agenda from the perspective of academic members of staff and specialists in equality and diversity. The polytechnic sector (now post-1992 universities) evolved with a strong student/consumer focus, which has not been true of many pre-1992 institutions. Yet with the economic, political and demographic changes to the context of HE over the last ten years, the demands placed on universities have brought this kind of logic into all institutions. The degree to which this approach to students and academic work has affected academic practice has not been even across the sector. Reactions amongst staff and senior managers to the equality agenda have varied. My research takes a comparative case study approach to identify some of these differing perspectives, sampling from the faculty of arts and social sciences in one pre- and one post-1992 institution. Among equality and diversity specialists there is a growing recognition of the barriers to their work in universities, most notably keeping academic members of staff informed and developing their skills in the area. I investigated these issues by interviewing academic staff and specialists about their views on equality and diversity and student-staff relationships. In this thesis I argue that the differences between academics' perspectives in the two case study institutions are guided by their perceptions of the market position of their university. This controls the horizons of their professional identities, influencing their values and practices. The narratives given by academics reflected a conflict between multiple identities of self-as-professional through their institutional, disciplinary and personal spheres of identity and how each interacted with representations of the equality agenda for HEIs. The success of this agenda hinges on constructing positive discourses around professional identity and its intersection with the equality agenda in HEIs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
ISBN: 9781303196980
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2018 21:43

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