Trajectories of Identification Across Social Spaces: Intersections Between Home, School and Everyday Spaces
Trajectories of Identification Across Social Spaces: Intersections Between Home, School, and Everyday Spaces
This is a theory-building study taking a wide-angled perspective on youths' development of trajectories of identification across social settings of their everyday lives. I investigated the relationships within and between trajectories of identification across the everyday lives of four youth, studying the conflicts, cohesion, and gaps in their trajectories of identification as they moved across and participated in multiple social settings. I asked how trajectories of identification were built across social settings (i.e. relationships within a trajectory of identification); what kinds of relationships existed between youths' trajectories of identification; and what facilitated the building of trajectories of identification across social settings. To study these questions, I argued for three interrelated lenses on identity: local acting and positioning in practice, the ways one thinks of oneself (self-narratives), and the ways that others think of one (others'-narratives). Using these lenses I shaped a connective ethnography studying four 11-12 year old youth across everyday settings including school, home, hobbies like sports and music, community organizations, and peer groups, following two youth for six months and two youth for one year. I analyzed findings across the four youth. The cases presented in this thesis demonstrate the ways that youth form identities through their travel and not just in a single setting. First, I found that youth build trajectories of identification across social settings and not just in a single setting. As learning is not just within a single mind, so is identity developed beyond a single space. Second, I demonstrated how multiple interacting trajectories of identification within a youth's life may shape each other in inclusive and exclusive ways. Third, throughout the cases I highlighted how traveling artifacts can support building trajectories of identification across social settings, including boundary objects, artifacts created by the youth, and succinct narratives. Their ability to travel depends on how well they encompass values of people from different social settings. In turn, the travel and influence of artifacts are strengthened by certification and brokering.
Fields, D. A. (2011, September). Trajectories of identification across social spaces: Intersections between home, school and everyday spaces. Paper presented at the triannual meeting of the International Society of Cultural Activity Research, Rome, Italy.