Construction and Transformations of Doctoral Students’ Academic Identities Through Citations

  • Lina Calle Arango Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Natalia Ávila Reyes Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Alejandra Meneses Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Keywords: citation, academic writing, academic identity, intertextuality, doctoral students


Doctoral students' challenges and identity tensions are becoming an increasingly relevant topic. One way of studying this is through the analysis of citations, since, to par­ticipate in the academic world, doctoral students must enter into dialogue with other authors and with advances in their discourse communities. This research uses the theoretical framework of academic literacies to analyze, longitudinally, the relationship between the citations and academic identity building of four Education doctoral students enrolled in a highly selective Chilean university. To determine the relationship between citation and academic identitybuilding, the citation’ purposes of the introductions of three versions of the literature reviews written by these students were analyzed. Such analisis was complemented with students testimonies, which were collected through text-based interviews. The results show how citations’ purposes were chosen based on habit, style or disciplinary affiliations, as well as on the image they wanted to project as researchers, which places them halfway to a self-per­ception as such. This contrast allowed them to build a hybrid or multiple academic identity.

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Author Biographies

Lina Calle Arango, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Maestra en Educación, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago.
Candidata a doctora en Educación, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Natalia Ávila Reyes, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Doctora en Educación, Universidad de California, Santa Bárbara, ee.uu.
Profesora asistente, Facultad de Educación, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago.

Alejandra Meneses, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Doctora en Lingüística, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile.
Profesora asociada, Facultad de Educación, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago.


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How to Cite
Calle ArangoL., Ávila ReyesN., & MenesesA. (2021). Construction and Transformations of Doctoral Students’ Academic Identities Through Citations. Íkala, 26(2), 331-346.
Empirical Studies