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Demonstrating the therapeutic values of poetry in doctoral research: autoethnographic steps from the enchanted forest to a PhD by publication path

Lazarus, Suleman (2021) Demonstrating the therapeutic values of poetry in doctoral research: autoethnographic steps from the enchanted forest to a PhD by publication path. Methodological Innovations, 14 (2). ISSN 2059-7991

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Identification Number: 10.1177/20597991211022014

Abstract

We rarely acknowledge the achievements of doctoral candidates who fought with all they had but still lost the battle and dropped out – we know so little about what becomes of them. This reflective article is about the betrayals of PhD supervisors in one institution, the trauma and stigma of withdrawing from that institution, writing poetry as a coping mechanism and the triumph in completing a Thesis by Publication (TBP) in another institution. Thus, I build on Lesley Saunders’s idea about using poetry to operate on ‘a personal capacity’ in educational research. Accordingly, I present an original autoethnographic poem and other poetic artefacts as well as reflections to sharpen the sociological eye of my story. In it, I merge two different segments of experiences in poetry – trauma and triumph – to draw an image of my doctoral journey, in the moment and in retrospection. By doing so, I illuminate the struggles involved in becoming an independent researcher. I also encourage practitioners to conceive that their negative experiences in doing educational research can be transformed into an achievement depending on the stand they take when faced with it. Certainly, poor academic performance can be closely associated with abandoning doctoral studies, but that is not always the case. Therefore, it is my hope that this autoethnographic work may instill hope in doctoral candidates who are still in the struggle to find a voice.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/mio
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
P Language and Literature
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2021 14:57
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:02
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/112120

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