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Title: Legitimating supervision from different academic territories : an auto-ethnographic account
Other Titles: Postgraduate supervision: future focus for a knowledge society
Authors: Vahed, Anisa 
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: SUN MeDIA Stellenbosch
Source: Vahed, A. 2016. Legitimating supervision from different academic territories : an auto-ethnographic account. In Postgraduate supervision: future focus for a knowledge society, Ed. Fourie-Malherbe, M. et al. Chapter 22: 367-381.
Much of the current literature (Buttery, Richter & Filho 2005; Hasrati & Hashemi 2011; Lee 2012; Pearson & Kayrooz 2004; Woolderink, Putnik, van der Boom & Klabbers 2015) on postgraduate research supervision concentrates on supervisors and their different approaches to research supervision. There has been less exploration on the impact of these approaches on the student, particularly in the context of co-supervision, such as the case reported here where the supervisors have different discipline knowledge, namely the pure sciences and social sciences. For Bernstein (2000), the social sciences have ‘horizontal knowledge structures’ in that they are made up of a collection of ‘specialised languages that are discrete and non-translatable’. The pure sciences, by contrast, have ‘vertical knowledge structures’, which build general theories. As reported by Henkel (2005), academics identities are tightly attached to their disciplines. Given that the disciplinary homes of the two supervisors reported in this paper were so disparate, the supervision relationship reported in this chapter had the potential to be a triad of conflict and difficulties. This narrative therefore intends to describe the research difficulties that emerged, how they were negotiated, and whether the supervision combination was a productive and positive approach, or not. Not surprising, then, that part of this enquiry required negotiating the legitimacy of diverse epistemologies and approaches to research discourses of the two supervisors, while retaining and developing my own doctoral voice. Bitzer and van der Bergh (2014: 1047) describe that to become “…doctoral implies personal transformation and change, which extends beyond methodological rigour, epistemological understanding and socialisation into a discipline”. In attempting to respond to this, and based on several key contributions (Boehe 2014; Lee 2008; Mainhard, van der Rijst, van Tartwijk & Wubbels 2009; Pearson & Kayrooz 2004; Pyhalto, Vekkaila & Keskinen 2015; Wadee, Keane, Dietz & Hay 2010), this chapter reflects my own experiences of being supervised by supervisors who were differently situated in terms of institutional types, disciplinary homes and discursive positions
ISBN: 978-928357-21-6
Appears in Collections:Research Publications (Health Sciences)

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