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An exploration of academic and professional staff perceptions of their positioning within one UK university and its impact on their workplace identities and relationships

Brown, Annabel; (2021) An exploration of academic and professional staff perceptions of their positioning within one UK university and its impact on their workplace identities and relationships. Doctoral thesis (Ed.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study explores the perceptions of academic and professional services staff within a single university regarding their self-positioning within the institution. It examines the constructs of their professional identities and explores how they impact on their workplace identities and working relationships. It considers how individual perceptions of status and place are shaped and constructed in relation to concepts of social identity. Research is conducted via triangulation between three types of data generation comprising semi-structured interviews, the creation of mind-maps depicting participants’ perception of their place within the institution, and the observation of staff meetings. Designed as a multiple case study, the data is qualitatively examined via the use of interpretative phenomenological analysis in the social constructionist paradigm. The university habitus is explored through the lenses offered by the Bourdieusian concepts of habitus, capital, and field. The findings surface some common themes; discussion initially centres on the twinned concepts of space and place, as the primary means by which staff view their self-positioning and orientate within the institution. It moves on to discuss three dominant and interlinking themes emerging from the data; hierarchy, visibility and legitimacy. The individual and combined impact of them is considered with regard to their effects on individual perceptions of self. A conceptual model is offered to explain how university staff perceive their self-positioning. The study concludes that there is no systemic binary staff divide within the university habitus, albeit the expectation of one persists as an enduring fiction. This is caused by a duality of discourse within the institution and multiple spheres of difference between the situated life-worlds of academic and professional services staff.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ed.D
Title: An exploration of academic and professional staff perceptions of their positioning within one UK university and its impact on their workplace identities and relationships
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10127242
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