Defining academic – real or imagined

Denis Feather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is part of a study in England that concluded in the latter half of 2009. The study looks at academic identity through the lens of those lecturers delivering higher education business programmes in further education colleges, and their subsequent perceptions and definitions of an academic. The study identified that academic identity is a bricoleur of teaching, research, and might be a state of mind; as such, this may explain why academic identity is heterogeneous and so difficult to define. The study comprised of 26 individual interviews and one focus group comprising of four lecturers. An interpretivist approach was adopted, where common themes were drawn out for analysis from the narratives. Academic identity was not a term easily defined by lecturers in further education colleges, and some lecturers did not see themselves as academics or typically stereotyped academics akin to those depicted in the television media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-123
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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