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The Hybrid and Dualistic Identity of Full-Time Non-Tenure-Track Faculty


Colleges and universities rely on full-time non-tenure-track (FTNT) faculty to achieve their teaching, research, and service missions. These faculty are deemed both symptomatic of and partly responsible for academe's shortcomings. The ascriptions, however, are made with little attention to the faculty themselves or to their consequences for FTNT faculty. Through analysis of interview data of university faculty, the authors present and explain FTNT faculty self-representations of professional and occupational identity. Assumptions drawn from institutional and professional theory contextualize the research, and narrative analysis infuses the application of the framework of cultural identity theory. These FTNT faculty are found to possess hybrid and dualistic identities. Their work and roles are a hybrid and contain some elements of a profession and some of a "job." Their identity is dualistic because as teachers, they express satisfaction, whereas as members of the professoriate, they articulate restricted self-determination and self-esteem. This troubled and indistinct view of self-as-professional is problematic both for FTNT faculty as they go about their daily work and for their institutions, which are in no small part responsible for the uncertain conditions and identities of FTNT faculty. © 2011 SAGE Publications.

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