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My Dr. Who presentation at the Manchester Conference

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008 @ 4:27 pm
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Posted in  Training/CPD

What an interesting and inspiring day was today! It has been a while now that, together with my fellow doctoral student S., we have been working on the topic of the relationship between the qualitative researcher and the PhD process, the impact on each other and how this interaction forms and unfolds at the different stages of doing a doctoral study in counselling, although the insights are relevant to other disciplines too. Today we had the chance to present our findings at the Student Research Conference, held at the School of Education/University of Manchester and run the session in a workshop format. We had about 15 people attending and all gave us great feedback, they actually confirmed that we shall work more on that and offer it as training session cause it is so relavant to the whole concept of reflexivity when conducting qualitative research. there is so much more i could write in here but recognise also the need to keep it ‘private’ for a while as this work is still developing between me and S. and we want to probably write a book about it, something that is set as a future plan, also with the support and guidance of our research supervisors.

We titled our presentation:  “Dr. Who: a question of researcher identity in the Doctoral PhD qualitative research process”

an interesting discussion with the audience was generated when we put up the slide with the different ‘personas’ (or sub-personalities if you like) that we associate with the identity of a qualitative researcher, as follows (the list is not exhaustive, one could add so much more, depending on topic and context):

  • scholar
  • co-researher
  • reader
  • writer
  • storyteller
  • auto-ethnographer
  • critic
  • practitioner
  • bricoleur
  • collaborator
  • dreamer
  • traveller
  • artist
  • shaman
  • mentor
  • friend
  • parent
  • adult
  • child

and of course the audience commented on all that with rigour and we talked about how reflexive once can be in the research process. In summary, we addressed the following questions, as related to conducting qualitative research:

  • what does being transparent really mean?
  • what are the challenges and opportunities in the metamorphosis of a qualitative researcher?
  • what are the condequences of qualitative research influence of the researcher, their study and clinical practice?
  • How do we look after ourselves in the process of conducting research that is ‘too close to home’ or that provokes ongoing dilemmas?

The above is just the beginning of this train of thought, there is more to come and i recognise that this is very important issue in the discourse around methodological choices and the like, there will be a lot of that in my own Thesis anyway

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