Understanding Identities Across Social Spaces

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Practices: CSCL09 Community Events Proceedings


A. Dimitracopoulou, C. O'Malley, D. Suthers, P. Reimann

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Last Page



In recent years there has been a renewed recognition that youth bring resources for learning from different places in their lives or different "social worlds." One resource available to youth when they are learning is their identity--how they act, talk, believe, and otherwise get recognized as certain kinds of people. From this viewpoint identities from different social worlds can be seen as potential resources for changing participation in a particular area - as explanations for how something new or innovative can be created. Yet we know very little about how people actually draw on an identity in one situation to impact an identity in another situation. In this study I examine how individuals draw on their identities in different spaces of their lives as resources for learning, observing two youth as they navigate across spaces in their lives over the course of a year.

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