Working in Collaboration: Three PhD Students Trouble Reflexivity

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Gemma Anne Yarwood


Written by three qualitative researchers at various stages of their research studies, this paper focuses on how their collaborations with each other informed their PhD learning journeys. There are a substantial number of companion textbooks offering guidance on doctoral study. In these, it is commonplace to find discussions about the research relationships between supervisor and student. We argue that there is much less emphasis in this literature on the value of collaborative relationships between doctoral students. Here we focus on how collaborations with each other facilitated opportunities to discuss, interpret and clarify notions of reflexivity, a methodological conundrum we were individually ruminating. We conclude that collaborative relationships between doctoral students can be supportive, fostering clarity of thought and a safe space to work out ideas such as what does reflexivity mean to me? In this paper, we use our own experiences of developing supportive collaborative relationships to encourage others to actively collaborate with those who can provide a critical sounding board.

Article Details

Case Studies
Author Biography

Gemma Anne Yarwood, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Gemma Anne Yarwood is Senior Lecturer and BA (Hons) Social Care Programme Leader at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.  Her research experience includes qualitiatve research, critical discursive psychology, employment and care. Twitter @GemmaYarwood


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