International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online)


Exploring Graduate Students’ Identity Work: The Unspoken Curriculum
Elizabeth Watson,Jo Ann Gammel

This study unpacks assumptions about the unspoken or tacit identity work of graduate students. Grounded theory was developed from interviews of 63 graduate students who were asked what they thought they would obtain both personally and professionally as a result of their studies. Two major areas emerged: their use of and relationship to knowledge (Knowledge Modus Operandi) and a set of metaphors that represent the identity work in which they were engaged. It is possible to regard graduate school as a holding environment, as students further their sense of themselves in interaction with school and with their faculty.

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