'Oh gawd, how am I going to fit into this?': Producing [mature] first-year student identity
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This paper aims to improve the understanding of some aspects of campus life faced by a mature student and to help inform institutional strategies for enhancing student retention. The 'fit' between students' production of their own identity and their perception of the successful student (both academically and socially) in their institution/ programme of choice is considered to be a significant factor in student retention. While the concept of identity can be variously specified, identity as a production, something that is available for use, and embedded in some social activity, is the conceptual approach taken here. This paper demonstrates how identity as a [mature] first-year teacher-education student is produced by interaction in the course of an interview narrative. A microanalytic discourse analysis of the sequential nature of the interview talkis used to display successive instances of the social production of [mature] first-year student identity, displaying movement towards a better 'fit' with the institution/programme of choice.
Language and Education
Copyright 2004 Multilingual Matters & Channel View Publications. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. This article has been published in Language and Education and is available online please use hypertext links.