Abstract

This thesis examines how graduate student teachers (GTA's) employ agency in order to establish and perform professional identities. Understanding agency as interactional, performative, and acting in a way "unintended by power" (Butler, 1997, p. 15), this thesis examines the spatial practices and performances of a graduate student teacher through a mixed methods approach combining video recordings with autoethnography. This project begins by using Lefebvre's (1991) social imaginary to examine the potent arguments being made to and about GTA's from their shared office, using visual rhetorical analysis to examine how this space communicates ideas of identity and place that work at rhetorical purposes counter to the performances GTA's are employing within that space. Exploring how GTA's respond to the social imaginary within space, this thesis conducts an analysis of the tactics employed, using De Certeau (1984) as a framework. Graduate student teachers use spatial practices and performances to make do with the space and the power allotted to them; however, they employ key tactics such as altering body position and vocal tone to turn interactions with students and with each other into dynamic moments for the production of agency. Finally, this thesis argues that, while GTA's use tactics and spatial practices to negotiate the performances and spaces allotted to them, their agency is temporal and limited. Departmental investment in relationships with GTA and integrating them further into the life of the department through apprenticeship can bolster the tenuous agency of the GTA.

Graduation Date

2018

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Wheeler, Stephanie

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

Writing and Rhetoric

Degree Program

English; Rhetoric and Composition

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0007223

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0007235

Language

English

Release Date

August 2018

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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