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Title: Becoming professional : an exploration of the social construction of identity
Author: Clouder, Deanne Lynn
ISNI:       0000 0001 3559 2075
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2001
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Becoming professional involves identity work The way in which people are 'transformed' into professionals has a fundamental impact on selves, yet the process has received scant attention from researchers Based on ethnographic research, involving in-depth interviews, participant observation and documentary analysis, this thesis examines the social practices responsible for 'shaping' undergraduate occupational therapy (OT) students into professional people By situating the everyday experiences of OT students in broader theoretical debates about structure and agency and the social construction of identity I suggest that the professional person is socially constructed The process involves being externally defined by others, which has implications for self-definition However, notwithstanding evidence that becoming professional is narrowly prescribed, I highlight a certain capacity for agency The notion of becoming professional is presented as a progressive narrative of the lived experiences of the OT students The narrative illustrates the tensions and uncertainties inherent in change as students begin to position themselves in relation to varying practices and discourses implicit in OT Their ambiguous location in terms of the professionalisation process is highlighted through a need for social support that is vital for definition and re-definition of self-hood Immersion in practice partially resolves the ambiguity of developing professional identities as students learn to respond to its demands For example, the taking up of caring discourses provides a focus of particular importance within OT The thesis contributes to an understanding of professional socialisation at both theoretical/conceptual and practical levels Social constructionism offers a lens through which professional socialisation may be viewed from an entirely new perspective Furthermore, increased awareness of the dynamics of the process has implications for the practice-base of OT education Finally, greater insight into the lived experience of becoming professional may benefit potential students
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HT Communities. Classes. Races ; RC Internal medicine