R is for… Radical Rhetoric #AtoZChallenge

R is for… Radical Rhetoric

One of the current drivers in research is that of impact – getting the message out there.

Often when people finish their PhDs they have a nice bound copy of their thesis to put on their bookshelves and a copy gets into the university library. Nowadays that copy may be electronic, but, still the audience for reading a whole thesis is limited – and if they are unlucky your family and friends may be among them.

Next comes conference presentations and publications in academic journals – again potentially a very limited audience.

If it is newsworthy you might get the sensationalised headlines that I mentioned yesterday.

Within social sciences there has been a drive to use more performative methods of dissemination – e.g. using films, poetry, fictional writing, photographs etc.

Because I will be using autoethnography as my methodology, and as a writer, I am keen to present my work more creatively, I am looking into how I can do this to satisfy my examiners as well as myself. There is also the potential of social media to explore.

    ‘Of all the developments in qualitative inquiry, performative practices are the most radical.’ (Gergen and Gergen, 2011)

This is because of the blurring of art and science – sounds perfect to me.

Here’s a link to an article if you’d like to read any more – http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1595/3105

Gergen, M.M. and Gergen, K.J. (2011) Performative Social Sciences and Psychology. Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 12 (1), Art.11.

Are you interested in research that is happening? How would you like to find out about it?

Posted on April 20, 2013, in April A-Z Challenge, PhD and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’m interested — as much as one can be in this crazy busy world — so I’ll try to return here and read about it. Thank you for the nice post here.

    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

  2. One of the things about academia that most puzzles me is the fact that many PhD dissertations end up as bound volumes gathering dust on a shelf. If you’ve invested so much time, energy, and money into something, surely the last thing you want is for it to be read by a handful of people and no more? If the certificate is the goal, then I suppose you might be okay with that; but if the research itself is the reason you’re doing it, then surely you want your work to have a life after you’ve graduated?

    I suppose the argument would be: the topic of my research is something only a handful of people would care about. Maybe. But perhaps this is where the challenge of the 21st century comes in. There are so many outlets for communication, perhaps part of the requirement for getting a PhD is not only to present one’s dissertation for peer review, but to come up with a way to present the findings of one’s research in a way that makes your work relevant to the laity. This might be a YouTube video, or a blog article, or maybe a Pintrest board–something that communicates the value of what you’ve done. It still may not attract a lot of attention, but at least you’ve shown how your work contributes to society, and that you understand its broader implications.

    Just a thought. 🙂

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