Labour of love: emotions and identities in doctoral supervision

Roed, Jannie (2012) Labour of love: emotions and identities in doctoral supervision. Doctoral thesis, University of Sussex.

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This thesis explores how emotional dimensions of supervising doctoral students are accommodated in supervisory identities. It aims to answer two key questions:
What is the nature of the emotional labour involved in doctoral supervision?

To what extent does an acknowledgement of emotional labour in the supervisory process have implications for the academic development of doctoral supervisors?

The conceptual framework for the study is developed from Woods’ (2010) definition of emotions as physical responses to situations involving an element of risk to self, Butler’s (2005) notion of accounting for oneself, and Archer’s (1995; 2000; 2003; 2012) model of identity formation based on the ability of human beings to reflect on their social situation through internal conversations.
Archer states that identities are formed through the way we monitor, prioritise and accommodate our concerns about our social reality. It is on the basis of this priority of concerns that we embark on our life-projects and it is these concerns that shape our behaviour and actions. It is believed that all humans strive towards a modus vivendi which Archer defines as a set of practices which at the same time respects what is unavoidable and privileges what matters most to the person concerned (Archer 2003:
149). In this study I apply Archer’s theory to doctoral supervision by viewing the supervisory process as a project and exploring the nature of the emotional labour involved in this project.
Based on interviews with doctoral supervisors, I identify three supervisory identities from Archer’s typology of reflexivity – the autonomous reflexive supervisor, the metareflexive supervisor and the communicative reflexive supervisor. These identities are constructed around the ways in which individual supervisors accommodate emotional labour in their practice. The thesis goes on to consider appropriate ways of supporting academics in dealing with emotional dimensions of doctoral supervision.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Education > Academic cultures
Education > Academic identity
Education > Higher education
Depositing User: Jannie Roed
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2016 09:58
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:22


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