The Sociologist’s Apprentice: An islander reflects on their academic training
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Johnson, K. (2022) The Sociologist’s Apprentice: An islander reflects on their academic training. In: Addison, M., Breeze, M. & Taylor, Y. (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Imposter Syndrome in Higher Education. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 327-341.
Reconfiguring imposter syndrome from an individual to a public feeling involves questioning who can access higher education and who can claim a legitimate academic identity. The author reflects on their transition from a rural island working-class background to lecturing at a university in central Scotland, while critically questioning assumptions that successful and recognised academics must tick expected career development boxes and amend their presentation of self. By demonstrating how anxiety, imposterism and internal conflict mark the habitus and mental health of someone torn between trying to secure an academic career, following a mentor and honouring their own classed and place-based sense of identity the chapter contributes to current debates on the social and political dimensions of imposter syndrome in HE via the lens of apprenticeship.