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The Self in Research and Other Matters: A Study of Doctoral Students' Conceptions



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Pitcher, Rod 


This study uses metaphor analysis to examine doctoral students’ conceptions obtained from their responses to an on-line survey. The conceptions examined were the conception of self in research, the conception of the PhD, the conception of knowledge, and the conception of the outcomes of research. The conceptions found were allocated to the categories of ‘organic’, ‘spatial’, explorative’ and ‘constructive’, the same categories as were used in a previous study of the students’ conceptions of research. A number of interesting relationships were found and are discussed, including the relationship of the conceptions to each other and to the demographic data obtained in the survey. Some tentative conclusions are discussed and some speculation indulged in.



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University of Cambridge

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