Experiential Learning & Teaching in Higher Education


Viewing internships as a transitionary stage (i.e., a liminal space) where interns are shedding their student identity and developing their professional identity provides a useful lens for understanding the experiences of interns and holds implications for social and economic justice. As interns adapt to the temporary and transitionary space of the internship they experience powerlessness, ambiguity, and, in many cases exploitation, sexual harassment, and abuse. The stress and precarity of this status are compounded for interns from marginalized or underrepresented groups that must also conform to the (typically white male and middle class) hegemony of the workplace, all of which can impact their response to poor treatment during the internship and the development of their professional identity.

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