Constructing and protecting identity in a diverse higher education context

Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519, 2015. Constructing and protecting identity in a diverse higher education context. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 19 (4), pp. 127-134. ISSN 1360-3108

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UK higher education (HE) has become increasingly diverse. Despite the clear social, economic and pedagogical benefits of diversity, it can also be challenging for identity as it may bring about psychological change and compel both the ‘dominant majority’ and ‘minorities’ to adjust to the presence, identities and worldviews of the other. Drawing upon Identity Process Theory from social psychology, the present article explores the potential challenges to identity in a diverse HE context and how students may subsequently cope with these challenges. After a brief overview of Identity Process Theory, two case studies are presented that focus on how social class and ethnic/religious diversity can impact identity. The more general aim of this article is to develop the basic tools for enhancing students’ learning experience in a diverse HE context. It is suggested that HE institutions need to support students from diverse backgrounds in ways that are conducive to a positive identity, and that they must facilitate a shared superordinate identity which can be viewed as inclusive and available to all, regardless of class, ethnicity, religion or any other identity.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education
Creators: Jaspal, R.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2015
Volume: 19
Number: 4
ISSN: 1360-3108
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 18 May 2020 10:42
Last Modified: 18 May 2020 10:42

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