Struggling for Legitimacy: Trajectories of Membership and Naturalization in the Sorting out of Engineering Students

Kevin O'Connor, Frederick A. Peck, Julie Cafarella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Situated learning theory proposed the notion of legitimate peripheral participation as central to newcomers trajectories toward membership in communities of practice. Left underdeveloped were questions of how legitimacy is conferred or denied. Leigh Stars work suggests ways of addressing these questions by considering how identifications of participants are made on the basis of classification systems. This article examines how classification of "calculus-readiness," tied to an identification of engineering with mathematics, shapes the activity of students, staff, and faculty involved in a diversity program at a U.S. college of engineering, and is used to organize trajectories for students in the program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-183
Number of pages16
JournalMind, Culture, and Activity
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

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