“I’m not a person that reads”: Identity Work, Adult Learners, and Educational (Dis)engagement

Scott McLean, Jaya Dixit, Canadian Journal of Education, Jan 10, 2019
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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This paper (27 page PDF) uses the frame of 'identity work' described by Snow and Anderson to interpret identity statements made by interviewees describing their experience with self-help books. Snow and Anderson identified four activities common to the practice of identity work including "verbal construction and assertion of personal identities." This activity has two modes, 'distancing' and 'embracement', and many of the responses to the survey were found to fit neatly into one of the other of these modes. The authors write that these results should suggest to us that "learning is more than the straightforward reception of content; the reception of content is influenced by one’s positioning of oneself as a subject vis-à-vis the content, the person or people communicating that content, the media through which that content is being communicated, and other recipients of that content."  Image: SWSCmedia.

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