Identities for Control and Success: The Acquisition of Psychological Capital

Peter Demerath

in Producing Success

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226142395
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226142425 | DOI:
Identities for Control and Success: The Acquisition of Psychological Capital

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This chapter talks about the high-achieving students in the school. The chapter inventories the suite of identity characteristics in these students that were oriented toward controlling their school experiences. The components of psychological capital exhibited by achievement-oriented students at Burnham included strong agentic beliefs in students' capacities to influence the kinds of people they were and would become, and the self-conscious development of a strong work ethic resulting in a habitual proclivity to be “productive.” “High-achieving” and “under-achieving” are terms given to the eight focal students who were selected through consultation with teachers and review of grade point average (GPA). “Achievement-oriented” refers to a larger group of students at the school with various GPAs and in various classes who exhibited characteristics of striving for academic success. The chapter tries to interpret these identity characteristics as components of psychological capital oriented to maximize students' abilities to compete.

Keywords: high-achieving; productive; under-achieving; grade point average; GPA; psychological capital

Chapter.  7220 words. 

Subjects: Schools Studies

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