Thesis

Negotiating identity in California State University, Chico's writing program

Walking the line between historical autobiography and analysis of Communities of
 Practice and Situated Learning theories, this thesis simultaneously conducts a close examination
 of my own personal journey in the writing program at California State University, Chico, how
 my identity shifted, and stories, obtained through interviews, of current faculty members. I
 examine the transition I made in forming an identity in the University Writing Center, arguing
 the residue we bring with us from old learning environments and roles can act as an impediment
 or a productive collection of practices aiding in the creation and negotiation of identities. It can
 weigh heavily upon you, not allowing you to progress forward, or it can be beneficial practices
 you have developed over time that can transfer from one community to another. I analyze the
 mutuality of engagement I experienced as a teaching assistant and a member of the Town Hall
 Meeting faculty, examining the complications that arise when newcomers and old-timers view
 each other differently than they view themselves, further complicating the task for newcomers to establish an identity. I attempt to answer the questions: What does it mean if you consider
 yourself a newcomer when others see and treat you as an old-timer or equal? How does a
 newcomer gain acceptance in a community of old-timers? I analyze the interview responses of
 four members of the writing program community to see how they negotiated their identity, what
 new roles and identities they have taken on in doing the work of the writing program, and see
 how their past experiences can inform my future choices. In some ways, it acts as an analysis of
 the program itself and how identity negotiation is left untaught and unspoken.

Walking the line between historical autobiography and analysis of Communities of Practice and Situated Learning theories, this thesis simultaneously conducts a close examination of my own personal journey in the writing program at California State University, Chico, how my identity shifted, and stories, obtained through interviews, of current faculty members. I examine the transition I made in forming an identity in the University Writing Center, arguing the residue we bring with us from old learning environments and roles can act as an impediment or a productive collection of practices aiding in the creation and negotiation of identities. It can weigh heavily upon you, not allowing you to progress forward, or it can be beneficial practices you have developed over time that can transfer from one community to another. I analyze the mutuality of engagement I experienced as a teaching assistant and a member of the Town Hall Meeting faculty, examining the complications that arise when newcomers and old-timers view each other differently than they view themselves, further complicating the task for newcomers to establish an identity. I attempt to answer the questions: What does it mean if you consider yourself a newcomer when others see and treat you as an old-timer or equal? How does a newcomer gain acceptance in a community of old-timers? I analyze the interview responses of four members of the writing program community to see how they negotiated their identity, what new roles and identities they have taken on in doing the work of the writing program, and see how their past experiences can inform my future choices. In some ways, it acts as an analysis of the program itself and how identity negotiation is left untaught and unspoken.

Relationships

Items