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ERIC Number: EJ1076831
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1470-3297
A Different Kind of Animal: Liminal Experiences of Social Work Doctoral Students
Adorno, Gail; Cronley, Courtney; Smith, Kenneth Scott
Innovations in Education and Teaching International, v52 n6 p632-641 2015
Evidence suggests that social and academic integration is a vital factor in doctoral student retention. This paper describes findings from a qualitative study which explored the experiences of a cohort of social work doctoral students during the first year in their programme of study. We used the anthropological concept of liminality which describes disorientation through transformative rites of passage, as a sensitising concept, through which to interpret the data. Thematic analysis indicated that the transition into new doctoral student was characterised by uncertainty and chaos and left the participants in an ambiguous position, betwixt and between socially prescribed roles. The findings demonstrate the need for anticipatory guidance and structured, sustained support, particularly within students' first year. Efforts to enhance cohort relationships and mentoring may also help.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A