Making Internal Conversations Public: Reflexivity of the Connected Doctoral Researcher and Its Transmission Beyond the Walls of the Academy

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:45
Location: Seminarsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Jon RAINFORD, Staffordshire University, United Kingdom
Recent advances in social networking have reduced the isolation of doctoral researchers who may previously have been limited to discussions of their work within their institution or specific field at conferences. It was through my own informal academic network on twitter that I developed the proposal for my doctoral research and formed links with the institution I am situated within. In contrast, a recent study in a doctorate of education programme found that the students ranked social networking low on a list of activities important to their doctoral development (Rayner et al., 2015).

Examining a series of critical incidents (Tripp, 1993) during my first year as a part-time doctoral researcher, this paper will explore how twitter has acted as an aid to the development my professional identity and a way of engaging beyond my field of study and academia. These incidents focus on experiences have been previously inaccessible to the doctoral researcher including a dialog initiated through live tweeting and blogging during a conference and the development of a conference paper utilizing both images of my process and drawing on the experiences of others. Drawing on Margaret Archer’s (2007) work surrounding reflexivity and internal conversations, this paper examines the way in which twitter forms a core part of my reflexivity, central to my internal conversations and development as a researcher. It will explore these incidents in terms of her four modes of reflexivity. Through conducting these conversations in a public way, this paper will also discuss the potential not just for self-development but also as a form of public scholarship. This paper will also discuss the limitations of this as a form of public scholarship and ways in which practices need to be shaped for both the needs of the researcher and the target publics.