Carla Meskill, Gulnara Sadykova


This study examines the patterns and substance of student self introductions in nine fully online graduate courses in education. A composite of social identity frameworks with an emphasis on language as the tool for self-presentation is first developed to guide the analysis and interpretation of these data. In particular Sfard and Prusack’s operationalization of the telling of identity, along with Bruner’s construct of turning points in self-tellings are discussed and employed as analytic lenses. The question of how, in a tightly defined social/academic context, adults use written language to present themselves to others is taken up through content analysis supported by linguistic concordancing. Two hundred twenty-three “Meet Your Classmates” entries are examined for their form and content. Entries composed by preservice teachers, inservice teachers, and doctoral students reveal differences regarding academic and professional identity-telling with the tenacity of institutionally situating and situated forces prevailing.


Social Identity,Online Identity,Language of Introductions,Asynchronous Courses,Education,Preservice Teachers,Inservice Teachers,Concordancing

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