Mark Sidey

WPAs and adjuncts: What we can learn from social identity & expertise theories

Mark Sidey

  • School: Purdue University (0183)
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Date: 2012 pp: 203
  • Advisor: Sullivan, Patricia
  • Source: DAI-A 74/03(E)
  • Subjects: Language, literature and linguistics; Psychology; Education; Adjunct faculty; Adjuncts; Contingents; Writing; Writing program administration; Language arts; Social psychology; Teacher education; Rhetoric; Higher education;
  • ProQuest Document Number: 1223501813
  • ISBN: 9781267746924
  • UMI Number: AAT 3544379

Abstract:

This dissertation examines the social identity of adjunct faculty and the implications for writing program administrators (WPAs). With the ever increasing reliance on Master’s degree teachers to teach first-year composition and other writing classes, WPAs are faced with the task of attempting to bring some level of disciplinary coherence to writing programs. This study consists of interviews of adjuncts at a Midwestern University that employed up to 50 adjuncts a year. Interview questions were developed using social identity theory. Interview results were analyzed via expertise and career theories. Findings indicate that adjuncts who do not have a Rhetoric and Composition PhD are unlikely to have a social identity as a member of the discipline and are unlikely to achieve expert status as disciplinary teachers. Recommendations are presented for strengthening writing programs and in addressing the national adjunct situation.