When Kim Il-Jong recently visited Moscow on a surreal train journey, he proudly informed Vladimir Putin he was travelling in the armoured train given to his father as a present by Stalin. As analysts of the regime agree, this merely illustrates the extraordinary, reverential detail with which Kim and his founding father Kim Il-Sung have maintained a complete Stalinist state into the 21st century:
The reasons for PhD student attrition seem remarkably persistent over time. Ernest Rudd conducted interviews way back in with research students who had either quit, or had taken a very long time to complete their studies.
In descending order, I found the following themes in my data: Mentioned less often were: In the comments I found three main factors: The comments are full of shame, blame and largely unspoken tensions. It seems that many people who are entertaining quitting thoughts find it hard to give them voice.
It must be easy for a disaffected student to become quite socially isolated. How then, can these stories become a valuable source of knowledge about the PhD experience? These narratives, he claims, can help us better understand and respond to the experience of people who are undergoing treatment. The ultimate aim of this better listening is better treatment and more empathetic care giving.
Distressed PhD students certainly in need of empathetic caregiving, from supervisors as well as family and friends. So I went back to my data again, this time asking myself: I hashed the multiple narratives together in a diagram which appears on the left.
The resilience narrative This is when people talk about the PhD as a journey or trial which can, or must, be overcome through the diligent personal effort.
Others talk back to these expectations in defiant terms, especially those who have quit and say they feel liberated. When we hear the resilience narrative, or find ourselves repeating it, we should perhaps pause for a moment. What do we have at stake in this person finishing their degree?
The Chaos narrative These comments speak of events in aconfused, non linear way, almost as if the person is having trouble putting their experience in words. Chaos narratives are marked by anger, fear, powerlessness, misery and apathy. This is not the same as doing nothing.
The ambivalence narrative This narrative is marked by lack of faith in the future, or uncertainty about what the future holds.
Others talk in more pragmatic terms of just finishing in order to put the experience behind them. Still others seem to be falling into apathy, depression and general ennui. I noticed it was in these kinds of stories that many students expressed thoughts about not wanting to be an academic anymore.
Since I started thinking in terms of an ambivalence narrative I have started to notice how often it is voiced in my conversations with PhD students, and in blogs and interviews with them. Perhaps the ambivalence narrative is a reaction to the uncertain work structures in academia.
I certainly remember employing this narrative myself while I was a PhD student. Sometimes I think I told this ambilvalence story as a way of testing out loud what other options and identities were available to me.
How should we listen to the ambivalence narrative? Do these narratives resonate with you at all? Can you suggest any others? Is this a helpful way of thinking about how to help people thinking of quitting the PhD? I probably picked up on this subconciously while doing this work — so thanks Megan!Welcome to the Purdue OWL.
This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice. Henry Ford’s Amazing "Hemp" Automobile Not many people know that Henry ford once built a car constructed of a plastic made from farm crops.
He envisioned auto engines built to run on bio-diesel manufactured from hemp, although the engine made for his first Model T, .
I have a friend who believes that doing a PhD causes brain damage, not just depression. Her theory was that the constant critique of other scholars’ work and self-critique of one’s own research/writing changed the brain’s wiring (she was a scientist).
JUST WAR AND IRAQ: I said below that I have yet to hear a satisfactory answer on why a quick war with Iraq would not be more just than the status quo of immiserating sanctions. Now Glenn Reynolds links to a Michael Walzer essay on a war with Iraq that provides one response.
The key grafs: "Defending the embargo, the American overflights, and the .
Notes on a Thesis [Tiphaine Rivière, Francesca Barrie] on pfmlures.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. When Jeanne is accepted on to a PhD course, she is over the moon, brimming with excitement and grand plans—but is the world ready for her masterful analysis of labyrinth motifs in Kafka’s The Trial?
At first Jeanne throws . Frances Perkins was born Fannie Coralie Perkins in Boston in , but her roots were in Maine. Her mother, Susan E. Bean, came from Bethel, and her father Frederick Perkins, was born and raised in Newcastle, on land along the Damariscotta River his ancestors first settled in the s.