Becoming University Scholars: Inside Professional Autoethnographies

Journal of Research Practice 6 (1):Article M7 (2010)

Abstract
This article shows part of the results of a research project: The Impact of Social Change in Higher Education Staff Professional Life and Work (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, SEJ2006-01876). The main aim of this project was to explore and understand how scholars establish a dialogue, resist, adapt themselves or adopt changes, in the process of constructing their professional identities. As the members of the research team were scholars ourselves, teaching and carrying out research in Spanish universities, we started this research by writing our own autoethnographies. As a result, we developed nine autoethnographies which give a complex and in-depth account of senior and junior scholars' journeys into their process of constructing their professional identity and working lives in a rapidly changing world. This article starts by giving a context to the research project and arguing the need for conducting autoethnographies. It goes on to discuss the process itself of writing autoethnographies in the context of a given research project. We then refer to the topics which have a bearing on how we have learnt to become scholars: our experience as university students, the beginning of the academic career, relationships with others, and the consequences of the mark of gender. We conclude with the lessons learnt around the dilemmas on writing autoethnographies
Keywords professional identity  autobiographical accounts  educational change  higher education
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The Post-Modern Condition: A Report on Knowledge.Jean-Francois Lyotard - 1985 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63:520.
Realizing the University in an Age of Supercomplexity.Ronald Barnett - 2000 - Society for Research Into Higher Education & Open University Press.

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