Identity

Responses to paperwork were influenced by people's professional identities, histories and situations. Many tutors described a feeling of their autonomy having been eroded over time, as more and more of the paperwork had to be in particular, prescribed formats. They described this as a lack of trust in their professional capabilities. Aidan had a long history of working in adult education, relatively autonomously. He felt the mandated planning structure was too detailed, more appropriate for a new teacher than for someone with his extensive experience, supporting Power's (2000) point that audit systems are both predicated on and can create mistrust.

Megan did not interpret the paperwork as a challenge to her professional identity in the same way. Where Aidan critiqued the system, Megan interpreted her struggles to keep on top of it as personal failings. She described herself as 'really not good at paperwork', having 'awful habits', and having 'a haphazard way of doing things' - self-criticisms which were not supported by the files she showed me, which seemed to show a well organised personal system for keeping track of a very complex set of obligations. While difficulties in keeping on top of the paperwork arose for many participants, some people including Megan personalised and individualised these issues more than others, internalising the mistrust built into the audit system.

 
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