|Title||Multiple Selves, Marginalised Voices: Exploring Black Female Psychology Students' Experiences of Constructing Identity in UK Higher Education|
Introduction: What kinds of identity do Black female psychology students construct within higher education? Higher education research in the US and UK points to integration and
Method: A pluralistic approach was used to explore experiences. Research was carried out across four phases: in Phase 1, qualitative content analysis was used to explore the experience of nontraditional students. In Phases 2 and 4, interpretative phenomenological analysis was used for traditional students. In Phase 3, a thematic analysis was used for mixed student groups. The research drew on social constructionism and intersectionality to situate students’ experiences. The researcher acknowledged her subjectivity as a mature Black woman when interpreting students’ narratives and used reflexivity to support an authentic exploration.
Findings: The participants constructed multiple identities in their academic environments. Nontraditional students constructed an identity of ‘hyphenated’ selves viewed through lenses of maturity and ethnicity. A sense of belonging was noted as crucial for their experience. Traditional students constructed ‘shifting’ selves in response to vacillating between challenges for transitioning and realising a ‘future’ self. Their multiple identities were complicated by a sense of ‘unbelonging’, social class, perceptions of structural racism, and a lack of culturally responsive support that frustrated their attempts to form interpersonal relationships with staff and students. Different theoretical/methodological approaches appeared to be most useful for understanding the experience of different student groups.
Discussion: Identity construction is psychologically taxing for these participants with implications for progression and attainment in higher education. Their experiences and
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
|Publisher||University of Westminster|
|File||Husbands, Deborah. thesis final.pdf|