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Using LEGO® to understand emotion work in doctoral education

Brown, N; Collins, J; (2018) Using LEGO® to understand emotion work in doctoral education. International Journal of Management and Applied Research , 5 (4) pp. 193-209. 10.18646/2056.54.18-014. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper, we present a project of the University of Kent Graduate School that utilises this paradox of playfulness and creativity. LEGO® is used in workshops to explore doctoral students’ emotions around the complex and solitary experience of a PhD research. We argue LEGO® is uniquely generative for exploring emotion work. After a brief overview of the background and context to the doctoral training workshop, we provide a brief review of emotion work. We then describe the LEGO® workshop we developed for our students, before explaining our approach to data collection and analysis. We then present our results, using verbatim statements from conversations with students around their LEGO® models. We present the interconnected building elements of height, walls and positioning, which are particularly impactful in highlighting the emotion work with LEGO® models. We connect the findings to a brief discussion in relation to the literature around emotion work. We have found that LEGO®’ bricks structure, solidity, and variety ensure its openness to metaphorical investment and promote the creation of narratives. Thus, building LEGO® models enabled participants to engage creatively with routinization of practices and emotion work, as well their positive support networks. We conclude with final thoughts on the value of LEGO® and steps for further developing the existing workshop.

Type: Article
Title: Using LEGO® to understand emotion work in doctoral education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.18646/2056.54.18-014
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.18646/2056.54.18-014
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: emotion work, emotional labour, doctoral education, PhD research
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10064757
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