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Re-imagining the conditions of possibility of a PhD thesis

Fransman, Jude (2012) Re-imagining the conditions of possibility of a PhD thesis. In: The Sage Handbook of Digital Dissertations and Theses. SAGE, London. ISBN 9780857027399

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This chapter attempts to interfere with the ‘conditions of possibility’ set by an Institute of Education (University of London) PhD thesis through digital re-imaginings. Drawing on my own doctoral research I propose a framework for showing how the matter of a PhD is selected, classified and recontextualised into a doctoral thesis. By reconceptualizing analytical tools from social semiotics (Hodge and Kress 1988; Kress and Van Leeuwen 1996; Van Leeuwen 2005; Kress 2010) I suggest that the way research is assembled (Law 2004; Latour 2005) and the implications for what is included or excluded is influenced by a negotiation between the interests of the researcher and the virtual-actual affordances of the research text (mediated by method). After presenting this conceptual framework I apply it to my own doctoral research to show how the social-material affordances of an Institute of Education PhD thesis interacted with my own interests to influence the form of my research output. I conclude by exploring how digital modes of representation might challenge these conditions of possibility, opening creative pathways to non-linear, collaborative and multimodal texts.

Item Type: Book Section
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2013 03:24
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:48
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