Re-thinking academic staff recruitment and retention in South African higher education institutions: towards a conceptual framework
This conceptual paper sought to develop a conceptual framework that brings together the concepts of subjectivity, agency and identity as key analytical tools to understand the construction of identities. The paper reviewed two sets of literature that frame differently the construction of identities. The first set of literature is on conceptualisation of identities, and the second set of literature is on theorisation of identities. The paper argues that identities are not static, rather forms of subjectivity of an individual that are subject to change overtime depending on the own sense of agency. In this paper, wider social context and workplace context are found to be pertinent in the identity formation. To this end, the paper pointed out that narratives of what it takes to be an academic are also pertinent since they illustrate how individuals become academics, how they navigate or maneuver through systems, and the challenges they face. The conceptual framework applied in this paper helps to make a link between key sets of concepts guiding this paper to understand processes, experiences, and practices of becoming an academic.
Keywords: Subjectivity, agency, identity, discourses, discursive practices