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Title: Legitimacy seeking, authenticity seeking and practitioner identity orientations in the process of identity work : a case study of newcomers in a UK police force
Author: Liu, Ye
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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In this thesis, I analyse the identity work process of police newcomers in a large UK police force. Predicted on the view that identity work is an ongoing dialogue between individuals and the social contexts they encounter, this thesis contributes the conceptualisation of identity orientation to capture the specific pattern of identity work that varies among individuals and is relatively consistently held by them across social contexts. With this concept, new dimensions are added to identity work theorisations. First, I argue that individuals’ pattern of identity work is determined by and determines, to a large extent, the specific way they relate the self to the situated social context, which has been found to be preoccupied with legitimacy, authenticity or practical competence, though not exclusively, among different individuals. Second, I argue that rather than fixed identity meanings, individuals’ sense of stability is provided by the identity orientation that they draw efforts to maintain amidst fluid and contradictory social experiences. In addition, the thesis also derives a focused examination on the social contexts with which the newcomers engaged to coproduce their identity. The analysis generates a two-dimensional evaluation framework that enables understanding multiple social contexts as an unfolding process, wherein the enabling and conditioning elements for different orientations of identity work are changing. The framework could therefore be utilised as an integrative and processual analytical tool for assessing contextual conditions in identity work research. Finally, I argue that identity work process is a dynamic and two-way communication between individuals’ striving identity orientation and socially offered influences and resources. I advance this understanding with a processual model.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare