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Metaphor for the PhD (‘on the boat’…august 2008)

August 28th, 2008No Comments  

I am now about to begin my final PhD year and there is so much to do, it does feel really chaotic as i need to deal with so many readings, so much writing to do, analyse the data, see how i will come to the ’synthesis’ of the whole piece, decisions to be made about how to tell the tale…I have noticed that i am more confident now in terms of how i manage ( at least emotionaly ) the challenges thrown at me by the whole research/PhD life, but it it still a path that i need to walk and complete, giving my best shot, finding inspiration for the authorship of it and bringing it to a good standard quality

I was writing few pages in my research diary and a metaphor came up for me to capture ‘ where i am at’ at present with the PhD. I wrote: … Read more »

Heuristic process, need for private space

May 29th, 2008No Comments  

During the last couple of weeks, i have had some strong processes in terms of the research journey, i have been having vivid dreams and images that relate to the thesis and how i will write it, how it will lool like. I have noticed that this feels quite personal and i have avoided describing any of this in the blog, although it is ‘data’ that will go into the Thesis, i guess there are decisions to be made in terms of the extend of self-exposure i wish to make and at what stage of time. I had dreams about the methodology chapter and an image that describes it in an allegoric form. i have also written a poem that includes symbols, concepts and meanings of this process. In heuristic terms, it looks like i am moving between the illumination-explication-creative synthesis stages, as described by Moustakas(1990). To quote what seems to represent what is happening for me now, as a researcher:

“The process of illumination is one that occurs naturally when the researcher is open and receptive to tacit knowledge and intuition”(p. 29) – i do feel that i am quite intuitive at present, so some creativity is kicking in

in the creative synthesis phase, the components of what is to be expressed “may be expressed as a poem, story, drawing, painting, or by some other creative form”(p.32) – i do feel i am in creative mode as i am examining the images in my dream, the poem i have written, my attempts to draw and express what is immanent

i will come back to the blog when it feel right…the Thesis is trying to get into some shape…it is like when a baby gets conceived and the organs/tissues develop and form week by week… 

working on data analysis with interview transcripts

April 12th, 2008No Comments  

During the last few days, i have been working closely with an interview transcript to see how i approch the data analysis. there are many challenges that appear and decisions that are to be made, i will discuss all my concers with supervisor and the PhD group this coming week. I have just sent my analysis notes to my supervisor by email and wrote the following to him, amongst else: … Read more »

State of ‘enmeshment’…and growing out of it (heuristic process notes)

March 25th, 2008No Comments  

After spending months of conducting research interviews, reading,’presenting at audiences, discussing about my topic etc, there is a ‘next’ stage now awaiting in the PhD process that has to do with ongoing data analysis, reading, organising writing etc…and what i experience is a deep feeling of ‘enmeshment’, both emotionally and practically speaking. On the one hand i see that this is a ‘normal’ ( i.e. expected) place to be at this stage due to the size of the whole Thesis thing but i also know there is so much more that is going on for me, which has to do with the ‘nature’ of the topic itself and the dynamics it brings up as well as my personal involvement with the ‘meanings’ and dimensions inherent in it. I can observe that in comparison to months ago, i have developed some ‘resilience’ in terms of being able to ‘stay’ and bear those feelings that the PhD topic is raising. But, no matter how difficult or challenging those feelings are, i still need to produce text in the end of the day and give birth to a Thesis that is coherent, rigorous and contributes to the pool of knowledge and sound practice in some ways, a Thesis that engages the reader and can stand rigorously and scholarly enough as a PhD piece. … Read more »

Self-disclosure during interviewing

December 30th, 2007No Comments  

Something i have been wrestling with in relation to what happens when am interviewing my research participants has been the fact that often the interviewee cannot access easily the tacit or probably unconscious insights in relation to the experience that is exlored and we are often both left frustrated by ‘not having the words’ for something that is otherwise intuitivelly felt. when discussing with Colin the other day, he confirmed that this is very common, to his experience also, when researching cultural identity etc, it is something so deeply rooted within, with so many layers that is is not easily accessed.

During some interviews, i realised that if i disclose some of my own personal experiences and insights around what am asking, then the interviewee may identify some of that within and unfold their own story. … Read more »