Apprentice, collaborator, colleague, competitor: negotiating the trajectory(ies) of a doctoral student: an activity theory perspective

Paper


Larkin, Kevin M.. 2009. "Apprentice, collaborator, colleague, competitor: negotiating the trajectory(ies) of a doctoral student: an activity theory perspective ." Ryan, Mary and Gough, Noel (ed.) AARE 2008: Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference 2008: Changing Climates - Education for Sustainable Futures?. Brisbane, Australia 30 Nov - 04 Dec 2008 Coldstream, Vic., Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

Apprentice, collaborator, colleague, competitor: negotiating the trajectory(ies) of a doctoral student: an activity theory perspective

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorLarkin, Kevin M.
EditorsRyan, Mary and Gough, Noel
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of AARE 2008: Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference 2008: Changing Climates - Education for Sustainable Futures?
Number of Pages25
Year2009
Place of PublicationColdstream, Vic., Australia
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://www.aare.edu.au/conf2008/index.htm
Conference/EventAARE 2008: Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference 2008: Changing Climates - Education for Sustainable Futures?
Event Details
AARE 2008: Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference 2008: Changing Climates - Education for Sustainable Futures?
Event Date
30 Nov 2008 to end of 04 Dec 2008
Event Location
Brisbane, Australia
Abstract

This paper will conceptualise, via an ‘Activity Theory’ approach, the journey of a Doctor of Education (RHD) candidate from Masters student – through the coursework component of the EdD programme, and then onto a Doctor of Education Dissertation. In so doing it seeks to determine whether such an approach is able to ‘capture’ the subjective nature of such a journey. The RHD journey implicitly and explicitly involves membership of an academic community of practice and the author’s various experiences of this membership will provide the ‘dataset’ for this paper. Whilst drawing on earlier Activity Theory iterations, Engestrom’s (1987) 3rd Generation Activity Systems theory, will be primarily utilised to position myself in this system of practice. Drawing on the work of Stevenson (2004), the paper will explore how the elements of Rules and Division of Labour mediate the author’s doctoral experiences. Tensions and complexities (contradictions in Activity Theory terms) within the experience including the influence of social capital; relationships with supervisor(s); relationships with the wider Griffith University community; and access to publishing opportunities in academic journals are conceptualised as avenues for the author to transform himself as researcher and also transform the culture of his research community. The RHD journey, whilst clearly occurring within a specific research community, and defined to a significant extent by the contradictory elements of this community, is at the same time an intensely private experience and this reflection will consequently draw on my lived experience during various stages of the journey. The academic experience is a dynamic one in terms of the author’s various subjectivities – student, apprentice researcher, author, colleague, and competitor. As a way of framing these subjectivities, Membership Categorisation (Baker, 1997), will be used as a way of theorising the role of an active subject choosing from a range of available roles, and responding to a range of discourses within a particular context.

Keywordsactivity theory; doctoral journey; research higher degree; doctoral degrees; supervisors
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520102. Educational psychology
390303. Higher education
500107. Professional ethics
Public Notes

All the Abstracts and Conference Papers in this collection are copyright under Australian law and international conventions. Each Abstract or Conference Paper is copyright by the individual author or authors and may not be reproduced without permission of the author or authors. If necessary AARE will assist those wishing to reproduce the works to locate authors.

Byline AffiliationsGriffith University
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