Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Power and the PhD: towards a critical view of postgraduate education

Stanley, Steven 2005. Power and the PhD: towards a critical view of postgraduate education. [Working Paper]. School of Social Sciences Working Papers Series, vol. 82. Cardiff: Cardiff University. Available at:

PDF - Published Version
Download (134kB) | Preview


This paper presents a qualitative analysis of some of the power dynamics of doing a PhD in the social sciences in the United Kingdom. Researchers of postgraduate education have tended to neglect issues of power, presenting descriptive and policyoriented accounts of doctoral research, rather than theoretical or analytical studies. The present study is taken from a research project developing a critical approach to postgraduate research and training, based in the perspective of discursive psychology. It draws upon semi-structured interviews with doctoral candidates in the social sciences, paying particular attention to the ways in which power is invoked and attended to in their talk about their experiences. It is argued that when liberal power is working successfully, it is often hidden and buried within particular conversational practices in complex and subtle ways. In order to reveal the patterns of power at play in postgraduate life, then, researchers need to look in detail at discourse. However, through this process of revealing, they may also be concealing the workings of academic power.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Publisher: Cardiff University
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 07:59

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics