1 The Research Group in 'Working Life and Learning', Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University2 The Department of Psychology and Educational Studies, Roskilde University
The paper discusses the shaping of students´ identity within a vocational education programme for elderly care in Denmark. The focus is on the correlation between identity construction within the theoretical periods and students´ experiences in the traineeships. In the school setting the future care helper is being constructed within the overall term ‘professional’, but students may meet differing ways of being care helper in the traineeships, and the paper points to an ongoing struggle about the definition of ‘being care helper’. The analysis of the identity issues mobilises the concepts ‘positioning’ and ‘storyline’, c.f. Bronwyn Davies, and the empirical material consists of interviews and observations in the theoretical periods and in the traineeships. The paper suggests that a shift from identity to subjectivity may help students to deal with the diversity of ‘care helpers’ and thereby help them to figure out what kind of care helper they want to be.