The Presentation of Self in Everyday Ether: A Corpus Analysis of Student Self-Tellings in Online Graduate Courses
This study examines the patterns and substance of student self introductions in nine fully online graduate courses in education. A composite of social identity frameworks with an emphasis on language as the tool for self-presentation is first developed to guide the analysis and interpretation of these data. In particular Sfard and Prusack’s operationalization of the telling of identity , along with Bruner’s construct of turning points in self-tellings  are discussed and employed as analytic lenses. The question of how, in a tightly defined social/academic context, adults use written language to present themselves to others is taken up through content analysis supported by linguistic concordancing. Two hundred twenty-three “Meet Your Classmates” entries are examined for their form and content. Entries composed by preservice teachers, inservice teachers, and doctoral students reveal differences regarding academic and professional identity-telling with the tenacity of institutionally situating and situated forces prevailing.