The Emergence of Pre-Professional Identity Open Access

Waldron, Kristina (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/2z10wq351?locale=en
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Abstract

The Emergence of Pre-Professional Identity

By Kristina W. Waldron

Despite the wealth of scholarly work on the topic of identity, few studies have specifically examined the formation of new role identities. This study draws on sociological identity theory and theories of vocational choice to explore the process by which individuals begin to form a new, pre-professional role identity. Data consist of texts written by 189 undergraduate business students. A qualitative analysis of the data indicate that (1) impression management largely fuels the identity formation process in the early stages and (2) individuals view the pre-professional role principally in terms of resources to be gained and exploited in service of other goals. Implications for identity theory, professional socialization, and undergraduate business education are discussed.

Table of Contents


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1: Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 1

Why study identity formation? 1
Research question 6
Why study undergraduate business students? 6
Organization of the dissertation 7

Chapter 2: Conceptualizing Role and Identity ……………………………..…………………………. 10
Role 10
Identity 14
Role-identity 24
Extending theory on role, identity, and role-identity 30

Chapter 3: Steps Toward Professional Identity: Applied Literatures ……….……………. 32
Vocational choice 35
Professional socialization 53

Chapter 4: Summary of Theoretical Framework …………………………………………………….. 63
Guiding assumptions 63
What are the major social-psychological processes underlying pre-professional identity
formation? 65
What are the main sources of students' identity meanings? 69
What are the meanings of the pre-professional identity? 71

Chapter 5: Methodology ……………………………………………………….…………………..…………….. 73
General orientation 73
Data 74
Sample 75
Study procedure 76
Data and analysis 81

Chapter 6: Pre-Professional Identity Construction and Enactment as Impression
Management…………………………………………………………………………………..…..……………….….. 85

Integrity between the pre-professional role identity and sense of self 86
Striving to enact the BBA identity 91
Awareness of impression management work 104
Mechanisms of impression management 105
Stress as a consequence of identity incongruity 111
Tensions: Personal identity and impression management 114
Formal socialization processes 116
Conclusion 118

Chapter 7: Pre-Professional Role as Resource ………………………….…………………………... 121
The role-as-resource perspective 122
Pre-professional identity as resource 124
Key resources used in role identity formation and enactment 135
Conclusion 148

Chapter 8: Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………... 150
Summary of main findings 150
Theoretical implications 153
Limitations and future research 157
Future directions 159

References ………………………………………………………………………………………………..………….. 162

TABLES & FIGURES
Model 1: Identity Control Theory ………………………………………………………………………..….. 17
Model 2: Marcia's Identity Statuses …………………………………………………………………….….. 20
Model 3: Miller and Form's Vocational Stages ………………………………………………………… 41
Model 4: The Wisconsin Model ………………………………………………………………………….……. 47
Model 5: Super's Career Stages ………………………………………………………………………...…….. 51

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