Cultural Studies of Science Education

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 273–307 | Cite as

Student Engineers and Engineer Identity: Campus Engineer Identities as Figured World

  • Karen L. Tonso


The research reported here contributes to understanding how student engineers on an engineering campus in the US mid-continent not only talked about the kinds of people recognized as engineers on campus, but also juxtaposes their talk about “campus engineer identities” with two students' ways of presenting themselves as engineers through engineering project teamwork to argue that campus engineer identities framed on-campus interpretations of actions, and ultimately that identity production was a complicated process through which campus engineer identities (cultural knowledge learned on campus) provided a lens of meaning through which to “recognize” (or not) performances of engineer selves as engineers. This research adds to conversations about identity in practice, especially identity production in science education, by suggesting the importance of cultural forms for belonging, especially at an obdurate site of science practice like the campus studied.


community of Practice ethnography gender identity practice theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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