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Desired in theory, troubling in practice: A study of the social science PhD student experience as a Deleuzian assemblage of interconnected lines

Kilmister, Hugh; (2022) Desired in theory, troubling in practice: A study of the social science PhD student experience as a Deleuzian assemblage of interconnected lines. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The past thirty years have seen a growth in research as to the purpose and value of the PhD as well as a focus on the experiences of those undertaking the qualification. However, there remain ‘dark spots’ (Bengsten & Barnett, 2017, p. 114) in our understanding with limited attention having been given to promote different perspectives that can extend and challenge understandings of the PhD student experience. As a response, this thesis focuses on how the qualification is experienced by a diverse selection of social science PhD students in various departments at one institution. Through the use of Deuleuzoguattarian concepts, the PhD student experience is explored as an assemblage of interconnected lines that offer an alternative approach in conceptualising the experience as being fluid, emergent and multiple. This study adopts a qualitative approach and is based on research data gathered from two sets of in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with eleven participants over a six-month period who were also asked to provide photographic representation of their PhD experience. My findings show that the family, professional experience and expectations of PhD study can impact in a variety of ways that both challenge and aid student development. The results indicate that social networks, planning, home workspace and compartmentalisation all play a role in enabling the process of adaptation as do forms of resistance. The study concludes that, in the PhD student experience background plays a key role in progression, becoming is a continually emergent process and only certain forms of resistance can affect change. The thesis ends with a set of recommendations for a range of stakeholders that emphasise the need for applicants to better inform themselves about the expectations of PhD study, and for institutions and funders to pay closer attention to preparing students as well as supporting them in undertaking the qualification.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Desired in theory, troubling in practice: A study of the social science PhD student experience as a Deleuzian assemblage of interconnected lines
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: 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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10145135
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