This chapter will explore how artefacts can be utilised to support reflection on professional identities and promote reflexivity. With origins in material culture and sociomateriality (Orlikowski & Scott The Academy of Management Annals 2:433–474, 2008), the exploration of how objects can demonstrate aspects of professional identity has previously been explored in the social work context (Scholar Qualitative Social Work 16:631–648, 2017; Doel The British Journal of Social Work 49:824–841, 2019). The authors utilised this concept more widely in their own research, exploring the identities and transitions of pracademics from diverse subject areas and at various stages of their academic careers (Dickinson et al. Studies in Higher Education 47:290–304, 2020). Beginning with an exploration of objects and their link to identity, this chapter will develop to consider the utility of artefacts in professional reflection and reflexivity. Readers will be encouraged to consider how selecting and reflecting on their own artefacts can contribute to their understanding of their motivations to transition to Higher Education and how they can take a values-led approach as their professional identity evolves post-transition.
- Professional identity
- Professional values
- Career transitions
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout
Purchases are for personal use onlyLearn about institutional subscriptions
Former polytechnics or Higher Education colleges that were granted university status in the United Kingdom through the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.
Beltman, S., Glass, C., Dinham, J., Chalk, B., & Nguyen, B. (2015). Drawing identity: Beginning pre-service teachers’ professional identities. Issues in Educational Research, 25(3), 225–245.
Bentley, S. V., Peters, K., Haslam, S. A., & Greenaway, K. H. (2019). Construction at work: Multiple identities scaffold professional identity development in academia. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 628. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00628
Birkhead, A. (2021). Exploring the identity negotiation of early career mathematics teachers: A pilot study. Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, 41(2), 1–5.
Campbell, C. (2022). Afterward? Moving onwards for developing pracademia and pracademics in education. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 7(1), 98–108. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPCC-01-2022-104c
Conrad, L., & Richter, N. (2013). Materiality at work: A note on desks. Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization, 13(1), 117–136.
Czerwinski, A. M. (2017). Artifact selection. In M. Allen (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of communication research methods (pp. 57–59). Sage.
de Moura, E. O., & de Souza Bispo, M. (2019). Sociomateriality: Theories, methodology, and practice. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, 37(3), 350–365. https://doi.org/10.1002/cjas.1548
Dickinson, J., Fowler, A., & Griffiths, T. (2020). Pracademics? Exploring transitions and professional identities in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 47(2), 290–304. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2020.1744123
Dickinson, J., Griffiths, T., & Austen, L. (2022). Collaborative methodological reflection: Disrupting the ethical practices of a creative method in higher education research. Social Research Practice, 12(Spring), 22–31.
Doel, M. (2017). Social work in 42 objects (and more). Kirwin Maclean Associates.
Doel, M. (2019). Displaying social work through objects. The British Journal of Social Work, 49(3), 824–841. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcy086
Eacott, S. (2021). Pracademia: an answer but not the answer to an enduring question. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 7(1), 57–70. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPCC-12-2020-0100
Elliott, J. (2005). Using narrative in social research: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Sage.
Eriksson-Zetterquist, U., Lindberg, K., & Styhre, A. (2009). When the good times are over: Professionals encountering new technology. Human Relations, 62(8), 1145–1170. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726709334879
Feucht, F. C., Brownlee, J. L., & Schraw, G. (2017). Moving beyond reflection, reflexivity and epistemic cognition in teaching and teacher education. Educational Psychologist, 52(4), 234–241. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2017.1350180
Friedman, K. (2007). Behavioural artifacts: What is an artifact? Or who does it? Art, 1(1), 7–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/17493460600610764
Friesen, S. L. (2022). Dwelling in liminal spaces: Twin moments of the same reality. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 7(1), 71–82. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPCC-11-2020-0095
Gourlay, L. (2011). New lecturers and the myth of ‘communities of practice’. Studies in Continuing Education, 33(1), 67–77. https://doi.org/10.1080/0158037X.2010.515570
Hay, G. J., Parker, S. K., & Luksyte, A. (2021). Making sense of organisational change failure: An identity lens. Human Relations, 74(2), 180–207. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726720906211
Hultin, L. (2019). On becoming a sociomaterial researcher: Exploring epistemological practices grounded in a relational, performative ontology. Information and Organisation, 29(2), 91–104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infoandorg.2019.04.004
Khapova, S. N., Arthur, M. B., Wilderom, C. P. M., & Svensson, J. S. (2007). Professional identity as the key to career change intention. Career Change International, 12(7), 584–595. https://doi.org/10.1108/13620430710834378
Lundin, J., & Nuldén, U. (2007). Talking about tools–investigating learning at work in police practice. Journal of Workplace Learning, 19(4), 222–239. https://doi.org/10.1108/13665620710747915
Makela, M. A. (2007). Knowing through making: The role of the artefact in practice-led research. Knowledge, Technology, and Policy, 20(3), 157–163. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12130-007-9028-2
Mula, J., Rodriguez, C. L., Segovia, J. D., & Cruz-Gonzalez, C. (2021). Early career researchers’ identity: A qualitative review. Higher Education Quarterly, 76(4), 786–799. https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12348
Orlikowski, W. J., & Scott, S. V. (2008). Sociomateriality: Challenging the separation of technology, work and organization. The Academy of Management Annals, 2(1), 433–474. https://doi.org/10.1080/19416520802211644
Panda, A. (2014). Bringing academic and corporate worlds closer: We need Pracademics. Management and Labour Studies, 39(2), 140–159. https://doi.org/10.1177/0258042X14558174
Posner, P. L. (2009). The pracademic: An agenda for re-engaging practitioners and academics. Public Budgeting & Finance, 29(1), 12–26. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5850.2009.00921.x
Prown, J. D. (1982). Mind in matter: An introduction to material culture theory and method. Winterthur Portfolio, 17(1), 1–19.
Robinson, R. N. S., & Baum, T. (2019). Work(ing) artefacts: Tools of the trade, totems or trophies? Human Relations, 73(2), 165–189. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726719828447
Schaap, H., van der Want, A. C., Oolbekkink-Marchand, H. W., & Meijer, P. C. (2021). Changes over time in the professional identity tensions of Dutch early-career teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 100(103283), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2021.103283
Scholar, H. (2012). Dressing the part? The significance of dress in social work. Social Work Education, 32(3), 365–379. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2012.667798
Scholar, H. (2017). The neglected paraphernalia of practice? Objects and artefacts in social work identity, practice and research. Qualitative Social Work, 16(5), 631–648. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473325016637911
Sheffield Hallam University. (2020, September 1). Welcome to the Academic Careers Framework (ACF) website. Sheffield Hallam University. https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/acf/#
Shreeve, A. (2011). Being in two camps: Conflicting experiences for practice-based academics. Studies in Continuing Education, 33(1), 79–91. https://doi.org/10.1080/0158037X.2011.521681
Svensson, I., & Gluch, P. (2022). Materiality in action: The role of objects in institutional work. Construction Management and Economic, 40(1), 41–55. https://doi.org/10.1080/01446193.2021.2014063
Thornquist, C. (2015). Material evidence: Definition by a series of artefacts in arts research. Journal of Visual Art Practice, 14(2), 110–119. https://doi.org/10.1080/14702029.2015.1041713
Tomassini, M. (2015). Reflexivity, self-identity and resilience in career development: Hints from a qualitative research study in Italy. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 43(3), 263–277. https://doi.org/10.1080/03069885.2015.1028890
Trede, F., Maklin, R., & Bridges, D. (2012). Professional identity development: A review of the higher education literature. Studies in Higher Education, 37(3), 365–384. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2010.521237
Unluer, S. (2012). Being an insider researchers while conducting case study research. The Qualitative Report, 17(58), 1–14.
van Lankveld, T., Schoonenboom, J., Volman, M., Croisit, G., & Beishuizen, J. (2016). Developing a teacher identity in the university context: A systematic review of the literature. Higher Education Research & Development, 36(2), 325–342. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2016.1208154
Woo, H., Henfield, M. S., & Namok, C. (2014). Developing a unified professional identity in counseling: A review of the literature. Journal of Counselor Leadership and Advocacy, 1(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/2326716X.2014.895452
Wood, C., Farmer, M., & Goodall, D. (2016). Changing professional identity in the transition from practitioner to lecturer in higher education: An interpretive phenomenological analysis. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 21(3), 229–245. https://doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2016.1195173
Editors and Affiliations
© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
Dickinson, J., Griffiths, TL. (2023). The Value of Objects: How Artefacts Can Enrich Professional Reflection and Reflexivity. In: Dickinson, J., Griffiths, TL. (eds) Professional Development for Practitioners in Academia. Knowledge Studies in Higher Education, vol 13. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33746-8_9
Publisher Name: Springer, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-031-33745-1
Online ISBN: 978-3-031-33746-8