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Mid-life teachers' resistance and identity : a narrative study in Macau / by Huang Hua.

English Abstract

The purpose of this study was primarily to investigate teachers’ resistance and its relationship with their identity construction. In doing so, the combination of Foucauldian poststructuralism with the narrative approach was employed to study teachers’ lived experiences. Three mid-life female teachers were interviewed and their personal stories were collected and analyzed. The participants’ stories revealed that the teachers were able to perform their resistance against dominating neoliberalism in Macau. The teachers’ resistance embodied various forms of behaviours (mainly in covert and implicit ways) in all domains of their everyday life in which they inscribed the norms, ideas and values in a different and nuanced way based on their personal experience. These resistances made it possible for the teachers to take up or create alternative forms of subjectivity that would shake, transform, or even subvert the normalizing discourse. By tracing the teachers’ discursive movements in their resistance, this study further figured out certain alternative discourses which were presented as loosely organized, informal and even biased personal accounts on some of the key notions, such as care, professionalism, emotion, age and gender. These personal accounts served as the discursive recourses to facilitate the teachers to construct their identity around an empowered and esteemed notion of the self. Moreover, this study studied the transformative significance of the teachers’ resistance on their identity construction by employing Foucault’s notion of “the aesthetics of the self”. Through this ethical lens, teachers’ resistance made it possible for them to build up a new form of relationship to their selves upon which they were able to construct new styles of life. This suggested that their identity was constructed and reconstructed around an ethical notion of the self.

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Huang, Hua


Faculty of Education




Teachers -- Macau

Teachers -- Training of -- Macau

Identity (Psychology)



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