28 June

Deadlines for Doctoral Candidates

Deadlines for Doctoral Candidates

UBC Deadlines
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A Postmodern-Psychoanalytic Perspective on Interviewing

A Postmodern-Psychoanalytic Perspective on Interviewing by

Neill R. Ustick
Australian Catholic University,
Signadou Campus, Canberra
PO Box 256 Dickson ACT 2602
phone (61 2) 62091147, fax (61 2) 62091185
email: neill.ustick@acu.edu.au

Draws on work of:

- James Scheurich (1997) - postmodern critique of traditional interviewing
- Wendy Hollway and Tony Jefferson (2000) - free association narrative interview method
- Fontana & Frey(2005) - recognised the historical, political and contextual shaping of interviews

Although the following options amount to oversimplification, I have found it useful to ask myself

“Am I attempting to be a scientist who seeks the objective ‘truth’ about a situation or am I more the historian who attempts to discover what meanings the situation have for people?”

-in social research, especially critical social research which investigates an unstable and changing social reality, there is reason to doubt the ‘search for certainty’ (and universal laws) and reason to develop approaches sensitive to context and to individual agency, particularly where individuals and not large groups are involved. Writing for an audience of teachers, (p.3)

McLeod (1994, p. 78) thus

"The fundamental goal of qualitative investigation is to uncover and illuminate what things mean to people … (it is) … a process of systematic inquiry into the meanings which people employ to make sense of their experiences and guide their actions."

There are strong claims for interviews as means of gathering significant data about people and their perceptions; for example,

For the narrator, the interview provides the opportunity to tell her own story in her own terms. For researchers, taped interviews preserve a living exchange for present and future use; we can rummage through interviews as we do through an old attic – probing, comparing, checking insights, finding new treasures the third time through, then arranging and carefully documenting our results (Anderson & Jack, 1991, p. 11).

At face value, this remark over-simplifies interviewing. It over-emphasises the role of the transcript to the neglect of contextual factors and elements not audible on the tape; it regards the transcript as a simple record. These points are taken up in what follows. (p.6)

Scheurich’s arguments include the following points (pp. 64, 70): ‘The researcher uses the dead, decontextualised monads of meaning, the tightly boundaried containers, the numbing objectifications, to construct generalisations which are, in the modernist dream, used to predict, control and reform, as in educational practice.’ Such an ‘objective’ analysis vastly underestimates the complexity, uniqueness and indeterminateness of each one-to-one human interaction. This view of interview research
“situates the researcher as a kind of god who consciously knows what she/he is doing, who (if properly trained) can clearly communicate meanings to another person, and who can derive the hidden but recoverable meanings within the interview to support an abstract generalisation”.
Usually implicitly, the approach embodies power asymmetries, e.g., it is the researcher’s project, the researcher develops the questions, the interviewee is under the spotlight (the subject) while the researcher remains hidden. (p.6)

Forming Scheurich’s notions into a brief summary, I offer the following points:

- The researcher has multiple intentions and desires, some consciously known, some not. So, too, for the interviewee.
- Language used for questions is not bounded or stable; it is slippery, ambiguous, varying across people, times, places; i.e., what a question means to an interviewer can mean something different to an interviewee; these meanings also can change over time.
- Answers depend on the time and who asks the questions, so that a different interviewer would get different responses.
- Some of what occurs is verbal and some is non-verbal. Some occurs only in the mind of each participant but it may affect the whole interview.
- Sometimes the participants are jointly constructing meaning, but at other times one may be resisting joint constructions.
- A participant may be saying what she thinks she ought to say.
- Interviewees are not passive subjects but active participants, sometimes resisting researcher goals; they ‘carve out space of their own’ (p. 71) – a dominance-resistance view of the play of power.
- Analysis recognises the presence of the researcher, notably the shaping power of the researcher’s conscious and unconscious assumptions and orientations.

For Scheurich, an added dimension of research interviews lies in considering the interviewee’s point of view and specifically the question ‘Who is their audience?’ He suggests it might be you the interviewer, themselves, or Imagined audiences, e.g., community/ies or groups of which they are or were a part.

I have tried to take up the challenge posed by Scheurich to develop new imaginaries of interviewing. My claim is a very modest one, namely to have found strong links between the work of Scheurich in the US and that of Hollway and Jefferson in the UK. This linkage adopts many of the postmodernist elements of Scheurich’s analysis but also extend it with fresh ideas from other intellectual traditions, notably narrative research and psychoanalysis.

It is important to note two initial points. One is that, as Hollway and Jefferson recognise, that this new approach is not suited to all research questions: “It is most powerful when the research question involves understanding people’s experiences through their own meaning-frame and when the area that needs to be tapped to address the research question implicates a person’s sense of self” (2000, p. 155). A second point is that the research approach assumes a particular image of human beings, what they describe as “an enriched, more complex, nuanced and, arguably, more humane and ethical view of the human subject” (2000, p. 155).

Hollway and Jefferson (2000) believe that narrative plays a central role for making meaning of human experience. They see narrative as a story of a person’s own experience, told in their own terms as a meaningful whole, reflectively seeking to see the past in the present. (p. 10)

It is appropriate to note a warning about an uncritical view of narrative, one that Atkinson (1997, p. 325) describes thus: “Narratives are regarded as offering the analyst privileged access to personal experience. It is suggested that an appeal to narratives too often includes inappropriate assumptions concerning human actors and social action.” It is also one of which Hollway and Jefferson are well aware. Indeed, they are critical of many versions of qualitative research interviewing which they argue assume that “participants are ‘telling it like it is’, that participants know who they are and what makes them tick … and are willing and able to tell this to a stranger interviewer” (Hollway & Jefferson, 2000, pp. 2-3). To the contrary, stories have a constructed quality, according to the motivations, memory and framework(s) of the teller – thus a story is an artifact or representation at least one step removed from the events to which it refers. As Riessman (1993, p. 8) notes, “We do not have direct access to another’s experience. We deal with ambiguous representations of it – talk, text, interaction and interpretation”. Hollway and Jefferson develop this notion of the complex and constructed nature of people, drawing upon postmodern and psychoanalytic notions central to their analysis:

We are psycho-social because we are products of a unique biography of anxiety- and desire-provoking life events and the manner in which their meanings have been unconsciously transformed in internal reality. We are psycho-social because such defensive activities affect and are affected by discourses and also because the unconscious defences that we describe are intersubjective processes (that is, they affect and are affected by others). We are psycho-social because the real events in the external, social world are desirously and defensively, as well as discursively, appropriated (Hollway & Jefferson, 2000, p. 24).


Scheurich, J.J. (1997). A postmodernist critique of research interviewing. In Research method in the postmodern (pp. 61-79). London: Falmer Press.

Scheurich, J.J. & Clark, M.C. (Eds.) (2006). Qualitative studies in education at the beginning of the twenty-first century. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 19(4), 401.

Hollway, W. (1997). Eliciting narrative through the in-depth interview. Qualitative Inquiry, 3(1), 53-70.

Hollway, W. (2000). Moral intersubjectivity, methodology and empirical research. Workshop Paper No 15, Prepared for Workshop Four, Methodology for researching moral agencies, Friday 17 March 2000. Retrieved 12 February, 2007 from http://www.leeds.ac.uk/cava/papers/paper15wendy.htm

Hollway, W. (2001). The psycho-social subject in 'evidence-based practice’. Journal of Social Work Practice, 15(1), 9-22. Retrieved 13 February, 2007 from http://taylorandfrancis.metapress.com/(sgzwnn45ccu1ug453xrxj1ea)/app/home/

Hollway, W. (2004). Editorial, Psychosocial research. International Journal of Critical Psychology, 10. Retrieved 13 February, 2007 from http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/journals/criticalpsychology/archive/crit_psychology10_ed.html

Hollway, W. & Jefferson, T. (2000). Doing qualitative research differently: Free association, narrative and the interview method. London: Sage.

Hollway, W. & Jefferson, T. (2001). Free association, narrative analysis and the defended subject: The case of Ivy. Narrative Inquiry, 11(1), 103-22.

Smith, Jonathan A., Hollway, Wendy, Mishler, Elliot G., Potter, Jonathan; Hepburn, Alexa (2005). Commentaries on Potter and Hepburn, ‘Qualitative interviews in psychology: problems and possibilities’. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 2(4), 309-325. Retrieved 12 February, 2007 from http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/sage/qrp/2005/00000002/00000004/art00003

Fontana, A. (2001). Postmodern trends in interviewing. In J.F. Gubrium & J.A. Holstein (Eds.), Handbook of interview research: Context and method (pp. 161-175). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Fontana, A. & Frey, J.H. (2005). The interview: From neutral stance to political involvement. In Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S. (2000). The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.) (pp. 695-727). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
05:49:26 - nursing -

09 June

US Nursing Competencies

CCNE Standards for accreditation for BSN and Graduate Nursing Programs.
20:24:35 - nursing - No comments

Field Notes

My field notes will focus on memos and observations within the interviews, and the context they are collected within.
16:49:38 - nursing - No comments

06 June

Electronic Portfolios


Dissertation 1999 Carla Hagen Piper

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Imagining the curious time of researching pedagogy

Imagining the curious time of researching pedagogy

Dissertation UBC Gary Rasberry 1998


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Inside the visible: Youth understandings of body knowledge through touch

Dissertation 2004 Stephanie Springgay UBC

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House of mirrors: Performing autobiograph(icall)y in language/education

Dissertation Renee Norman 1999 UBC

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Experiencing freefall: A journey of pedagogical possibilities

Dissertation UBC Joanna Haskell 2000

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(Re)searching sculpted A/r/tography: (Re)learning subverted-knowing through aparetic praxis

Dissertation Alex de Cosson UBC 2003

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Visual culture jam: Art, pedagogy and creative resistance

Visual culture jam: Art, pedagogy and creative resistance

Dissertation UBC 2004 David Darts

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the butterfly stretches her wings

In the Threshold: the butterfly stretches her wings

Award winning dissertation UBC Lyubov Laroche

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Read full text (pdf)
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Women's Doctoral Persistence

--- breaking the silence --- Toward a Theory of Women's Doctoral Persistence

Dissertation Roberta-Anne (Bobbi) Kerlin, 1997

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talk.to/reflect - reflection and practice in nurses’ computer-mediated communications

Dissertation Peter Murray 2001

Online Version (zip and abstract)

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Figure 6. 4 Model of Reflective Discussion

Figure 7.1 Reflective Discussion

Figure 7.2 Dynamic Model of Discussion
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Of tribes and totems

Of tribes and totems: an author cocitation context analysis of Kurt Lewin's influence in Social Science journals

Dissertation Linda Marion 2004

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Critical Thinking

Effect of a model for critical thinking on student achievement in primary source document analysis and interpretation, argumentative reasoning, critical thinking dispositions, and history content in a community college history course.

Dissertation Jennifer Reed 1998

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Appreciative Inquiry

Human resource capacity building through appreciative inquiry approach in achieving developmental goals. (Nepal)

Dissertation 2004 Chandi Prasad Chapagain

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Petrina Under the Corporate Thumb

Under the Corporate Thumb: Troubles With Our MATE (Modular
Approach to Technology Education)

Petrina 1993

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Petrina Tech and Rights

Technology and Rights

Petrina 2004

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Petrina - Two Cultures

Two cultures of technical courses and discourses: the case of computer aided design

Petrina 2003

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Petrina Questioning

Questioning the language that we use: a reaction to pannabecker's critique of the technological impact metaphor

Petrina 1992

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Petrina Problem Posing

Problem Posing-Adding a Creative Increment to Technological Problem Solving

Petrina 1998

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Petrina Politics of Research

The Politics of Research in Technology Education: A Critical Content and Discourse Analysis Of the Journal of Technology Education, Volumes 1-8

Petrina 1998

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Petrina Politics of Curriculum

The politics of curriculum and instructional design/theory/form: critical problems, projects, units, and modules.

Petrina 2004

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Petrina Political Ecology of Design

The Political ecology of design and technology education: an inquiry into methods

Petrina 2000

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Petrina Objects of Culture

The Objects of Culture: Bruno Latour and the relationship between science and culture

Petrina 1999

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Petrina Multidisciplinary

Multidisciplinary Technology Education

Petrina 1998

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Petrina Men at work

Men At Work: Inspecting the Foundations of Technology Education

Petrina 1998

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Petrina Introductory Design

Introductory Design Drawing for Technology Teachers

Petrina 2003

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Petrina Curriculum Development

Curriculum change in technology education: a theoretical perspective on personal relevance curriculum designs.

Petrina 1992

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Petrina Change and Tech

Change and Technology in the USA: a resource book for studying the geography and history of technology

Petrina book 2004

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Petrina Tech Ed

The educational technology is technology education manifesto

Petrina 2003

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Petrina Braudy Gender In/equity

Missing XX Chromosomes or Gender In/equity inDesign and Technology Education?The Case of British Columbia

2000 Paper

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BrysonVirtually Queer

Virtually Queer

Mary Bryson essay

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Bryson Girl Talk

Girl talk: Gender, equity, and identity discourses in a school based computer culture

Mary Bryson 2003

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Petrina Educational Psychoanalysis

Luella Cole, Sidney Pressey, and Educational Psychoanalysis, 1921–1931

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Media Culture

Redefining the limits to thought within media culture: collective memory, cyberspace and the subversion of mass media

Dissertation 1998 Michael Strangelove

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Lynn Fels Dissertation

in the wind clothes dance on a line

performative inquiry- A (re)search methodology possibilities and absences within a space-moment of imagining a universe

Dissertation 1999 UBC Lynn Fels

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Faculty engagement

The evaluation of University-Community engagement scholarship within the college level promotion and tenure process

Dissertation Della Baker 2001

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M. Bryson Renal Failure

Renal failure: Toward a sociocultural investigation of an illness 2003

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05 June

Are they Talking Yet?

"Are They Talking Yet?" Online Discourse as Political Action in an Education Policy Forum

Dissertation UBC 2001 Sara Klinger

Mary Bryson on Commitee

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Ecology of Identity

The ecology of Identity: Memoir and the construction of narrative

Dissertation 2006 UBC Luanne Armstrong


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Inner Life of Faculty

Attending to the inner life of an educator: The human dimension in education

Dissertation 2006 Avraham Cohen UBC

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Faculty Perceptions IT and Tenure

Faculty Perceptions Of The Impact Of Information Technology On Tenure And Promotion Decisions At Technologically Advanced Institutions Of Higher Education

Dissertation 2000 Daniel Otieno

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Doctoral Scholarship

Doctoral scholarship examined: Dissertation research in the field of higher education studies

Dissertation 2002 John Melendez

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Teachers ICT

A study of beginning teachers' use of communication technology employing the theory of planned behavior.

Dissertation 2007 Molly Marnella

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Technological Changes

Do Technological Changes and Organizational Context Affect Job Autonomy?

Dissertation Seunghee Choi 2005

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Faculty Perceptions

A Case Study Reflecting Faculty Perceptions on the Implementation of the Learning College

Dissertation 2006 Deborah Wiltshire

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Caring and Burnout

Caring and burnout in registered nurses: What's the connection

Dissertation 2004 Annette Peery

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Utilization of IT

Utilization of instructional technology: Towards a conceptual model for teacher education

Dissertation 2004 Benjamin Coulter

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Ethnography of Faculty

An Ethnography of faculty in a community college and a public, regional, comprehensive university

Dissertation 2007 Carol Burton

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Exploring Faculty Perceptions of a Case Library as an Online Teaching Resource

Exploring Faculty Perceptions of a Case Library as an Online Teaching Resource

Dissertation Yuxin Ma 2005

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Technological Stressors of Louisiana BSN Students and Educators

Technological Stressors of Louisiana BSN Students and Educators

Dissertation 2005 Mary Ann Stark Burke

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04 June

Conceptual Framework Map

Conceptual Framework
04:33:50 - nursing - No comments

Conceptual Framework

I have mapped out a conceptual framework but it is not articulated well enough yet.

What exactly is my framework (of course it will ultimately come from my data).

I need to research this more, especially from the educational literature perspective. This is after all a PhD in Education...though focused on nursing education.
04:29:03 - nursing - No comments


Right now, this is my weakest point.

I have gone from participatory action to phenomenology to plain qualitative. I always thought I knew research well. But the level that this has to be done at is much more in depth, profound and professional.

Brush up on these aspects - learn intellectual history of your design.
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Personal Notes

I am so relieved that my proposal was accepted (June 1, 2007) and submitted to FOGS. Getting to this point was very grueling, confronting, and pushed me to the limit. I know that it still needs work so I am not quite "feeling there" yet. I need to work hard to be able to articulate my thoughts and writing at a PhD level.
04:20:58 - nursing - No comments

Beginning my PhD Research Notes

My goal is to meet all requirements for PhD graduation by April 30th, 2009. In order to do this, I have to focus and do at least some work every day between now and then.

First off, I need to read more. To study the education literature more as well as the qualitative.

Topics to research more:

1. Qualitative interview questions
2. Sampling procedures
3. Educational qualitative research
4. Theorists related to technology/informatics into education
5. Thematic analysis

UBC Items to research

1. Ethics Review - BREB certificate granted May 2008
2. Other dissertations

I also need to keep:

1. Personal Notes
2. Theorestical Notes
3. Methodological Notes
4. Data collection notes

Authors to read:

M. Foucault - read books I have now
H. Giroux - read books have now (8)
Clifford Geertz
Denzin and Lincoln
David Silverman
M Patton
Alford - Craft of Inquiry
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