The resilience narrative This is when people talk about the PhD as a journey or trial which can, or must, be overcome through the diligent personal effort. The Chaos narrative These comments speak of events in aconfused, non linear way, almost as if the person is having trouble putting their experience in words.
Others talk in more pragmatic terms of just finishing in order to put the experience behind them. Mentioned less often were: Since I started thinking in terms of an ambivalence narrative I have started to notice how often it is voiced in my conversations with PhD students, and in blogs and interviews with them.
Do these narratives resonate with you at all? How then, can these stories become a valuable source of knowledge about the PhD experience? So I went back to my data again, this time asking myself: How should we listen to the ambivalence narrative?
I probably picked up on this subconciously while doing this work — so thanks Megan! Is this a helpful way of thinking about how to help people thinking of quitting the PhD?
In descending order, I found the following themes in my data: Chaos narratives are marked by anger, fear, powerlessness, misery and apathy. Ernest Rudd conducted interviews way back in with research students who had either quit, or had taken a very long time to complete their studies.
Perhaps the ambivalence narrative is a reaction to the uncertain work structures in academia. The reasons for PhD student attrition seem remarkably persistent over time. I certainly remember employing this narrative myself while I was a PhD student.
These narratives, he claims, can help us better understand and respond to the experience of people who are undergoing treatment. Still others seem to be falling into apathy, depression and general ennui. The ambivalence narrative This narrative is marked by lack of faith in the future, or uncertainty about what the future holds.
When we hear the resilience narrative, or find ourselves repeating it, we should perhaps pause for a moment. It must be easy for a disaffected student to become quite socially isolated.
What do we have at stake in this person finishing their degree? Sometimes I think I told this ambilvalence story as a way of testing out loud what other options and identities were available to me. In the comments I found three main factors: The ultimate aim of this better listening is better treatment and more empathetic care giving.
The comments are full of shame, blame and largely unspoken tensions.intensiveness) were collected.
The associated examiner recommendation on the thesis and information about the candidates, their candidature and their supervision were also. I have a friend who believes that doing a PhD causes brain damage, not just depression. Her theory was that the constant critique of other scholars’ work and self-critique of one’s own research/writing changed the brain’s wiring (she was a scientist).
"Lovitts’ important book seeks nothing less than to reform the graduate education process. Focusing on the dissertation, the capstone Ph.D.
project which demands that graduate students make an original contribution to their disciplines, Lovitts convincingly states that graduate advisors, faculties, deans, and administrators must develop. A college degree falls short of putting women on equal economic footing with men, and they have the student-loan burden to prove it.
Motives and Aspirations for Doctoral Study 18 that what the participants said in the interviews is what they meant and what they remembered, especially as they had the right to review transcript data in the cold light of day.
International Journal of Doctoral Studies Volume 7, Hearing their Voices: Factors Doctoral Candidates Attribute to their Persistence Lucinda S.
Spaulding and Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw.Download