Managing identities during social change
Protests and social movements are a part of the history of Higher Education in the United States. In this study I use grounded theory to understand the process of identity management for administrators, faculty, and staff during student-led protests on a university campus. To gather data for this project I have conducted 26 interviews with faculty, administrators and staff. I theorize that the process of identity management was a discursive and embodied process of interweaving familiar scripts in response to a limited and limiting organizational script of silence. Many participants found the organizational script insufficient and, therefore, turned to following other familiar scripts: organization roles, occupational knowledge, motherhood, and cultural background. The identity management process engaged and was informed by specific cultural, historic, and geographic realities. This overall process is described as a rhizomatic identity negotiation process. My project extends the theorizing on identity work and on feminist grounded theory, with a specific focus on understanding the embodied nature of identity negotiation.