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Becoming Music Teacher: Music Teacher Identity and Strong Structuration Theory

Description

Previous researchers documented that music teachers negotiate their identities throughout their career, but none of these studies examined identity negotiation from the perspective of both music teachers and their students.

Previous researchers documented that music teachers negotiate their identities throughout their career, but none of these studies examined identity negotiation from the perspective of both music teachers and their students. Assuming that music teachers and students negotiate their identities through the same interactions, how do music teachers and students together shape their social context and continually pursue possibilities for who they are becoming? I conducted an instrumental case study to explore the encounters of one veteran orchestra teacher—Steve—with three of his students to understand how they negotiated their identities together and pursued possibilities for who they were becoming. I used strong structuration theory (Stones, 2005) as a theoretical lens to organize and frame my study.

Each time Steve assessed students and placed them within the orchestra’s seating hierarchy, he experienced a tension in his identity as a music teacher. To relieve this tension, Steve changed the orchestra seating structure from a hierarchical-ranked structure to a randomized-rotating structure. This allowed him to provide individualized feedback to students as they rotated into the front row without issuing social sanctions. But this structural change also disrupted some of the students’ identities as musicians and the labels they used to position themselves in orchestra. Steve’s insistence that the student sitting in first-chair was the “leader for the day” continued an element of the hierarchical seating that conflicted with the students’ understandings of meritocracy and leadership. Additionally, by decoupling the students’ seating from the playing tests, Steve delegitimized his primary form of assessment. Based on my findings, I discuss implications for music education practice, and music teacher education.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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It "breaks down this wall: dualities in journalists' engagement with Twitter followers

Description

Scholars have identified that journalists have a strong occupational identity, leading to ideological conceptions of the rules of the field. However, while journalists are often the first to embrace technological

Scholars have identified that journalists have a strong occupational identity, leading to ideological conceptions of the rules of the field. However, while journalists are often the first to embrace technological change, they often do so in different ways than most people. With the arrival of digital technologies, journalists are often faced with practices that run contrary to long-established ideology, and they often carry traditional practices over to new media. Using the theoretical lens of Giddens’s structuration theory, this research identifies traditional journalism structures that encourage or discourage journalists to interact with their followers on the social network Twitter. Using constant comparative analysis to interpret 23 interviews with contemporary journalists, this study identified multiple dualities between the use of Twitter and traditional newsgathering. It also recognized a cognitive dissonance among journalists who use Twitter. Though they can see advantages to using the platform to engage with followers, particularly other journalists and members of their audience, journalists do not seek out Twitter interaction and often avoid or resist it. Finally, this dissertation suggests three walls that block journalists from engaging in the Internet’s facilitation of personal connectivity, engagement, and a true community forum with followers. Although a wall of objectivity has somewhat been broached by Twitter use, walls of storytelling and routine and traditional news values continue to hold strong.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Paid in sunsets: a seasonal working life

Description

Overwork is a long documented social problem in the United States linked to an abundance of negative outcomes. Typically this issue has been addressed organizationally at the individual level or

Overwork is a long documented social problem in the United States linked to an abundance of negative outcomes. Typically this issue has been addressed organizationally at the individual level or socially as an economic structural problem. While both approaches are valid in their own ways, missing from these angles is an approach to overwork from an individual perspective. This study explores overwork from the perspective of seasonal workers in Glacier National Park who typically work for the National Park Service five months and spend the rest of the year recreating. Using qualitative interviews and observations, this piece investigates a seasonal mentality towards work in terms of agency and trust, conceptions and practices of work and life, and in terms of embodiment and spirituality. Grounded theory methods were used to develop an axiomatic analysis which informs a poetic and narrative expression of findings in concert to the discussion and implications of the study. The findings of this study illustrate how seasonal workers present a fascinating alternative to traditional work arrangements in a capitalist system. They possess a unique approach to work and life that foregrounds life experience, freedom, and process as opposed to material goods or stability. They tend to approach work and life as an integrated and holistic pursuit as opposed to a segregated and problematic enterprise. And they tend to approach their work as an embodied and spiritual craft as opposed to something accomplished quickly and efficiently for the economic benefit of the organization. Implications of this research suggest that agency and trust maintain a deeply interconnected and dialectical relationship which agents navigate as they build towards ontological security; that re-conceptualizing work-life as "life first" has potential for fundamentally reshaping the ways life (and work) get experienced; and that divisions between minds and bodies as they have been typically structured between white and blue collar work might be interrupted via the inclusion of the human spirit at work. These findings interrupt common practices of overwork in different ways but primarily function as a reminder that ways of thinking coincide with ways of living and working.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012