Representing STEM identities as pragmatic configurations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This Chapter develops a definition and model of STEM identities. We first argue that identities can be understood as configurations. These are structured constellations of elements of different types that together form a flexible system representing identities. Second, we argue that for STEM identities, we must include Personal (Professional) Expertise (PPE) within the concept, which is intertwined with the Professional Self (PS). The word professional here indicates that STEM identities directly or indirectly refer to professional STEM practices (not implying a level of competence). We then define a format for describing PPE that naturally links it to beliefs and other elements of the Professional Self. Examples show how the model allows mapping STEM identities as structured diagrams that relate STEM identities to STEM (professional) behaviour. In addition to the analytical use in research, the approach also suggests steps for facilitating further identity development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience Identities
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, method and research
EditorsHenriette T. Holmegaard, Louise Archer
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-17642-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-17641-8, 978-3-031-17644-9
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2023

Publication series

NameContributions from Science Education Research (CFSE)
ISSN (Print)2213-3623
ISSN (Electronic)2213-3631


  • Identity-model
  • Personal (professional) expertise
  • Professional self
  • Science identity


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