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ERIC Number: EJ968522
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0818-8068
What Constitutes Doctoral Knowledge? Exploring Issues of Power and Subjectivity in Doctoral Examination
Devos, Anita; Somerville, Margaret
Australian Universities' Review, v54 n1 p47-54 2012
Globalisation has brought increasing diversity in student populations and therefore the potential for different sorts of knowledges to enter the academy. At the same time there is heightened surveillance brought about in response to the pressures of global competition, including increasing standardisation, marketisation and performativity measures. A corollary of these larger processes is the increasing surveillance and control of knowledge and knowledge production in universities, to ensure the position of nation states in global economic competition. This paper considers how these tensions are enacted at the site of doctoral examination with the potential for opening up or closing down the possibilities of new knowledge being generated through doctoral research. This is a significant issue for universities, for future graduates, and for the nation's economic competitiveness, because new and diverse forms of knowledge are critical for the future. In the article, we explore how doctoral knowledge and subjectivities are constituted in the doctoral examination process, with reference to a recent thesis examination in our Faculty. We draw on the Adjudicator's report produced in the case, and the experiences of the second author as the candidate's supervisor, in an effort to make explicit the invisible pedagogies of doctoral examination. In the process we raise issues of the relations of power exercised through the intersection of different epistemologies and ontologies, and the inevitable negotiation and production of knowledge-making subjectivities of those involved. We conclude that doctoral knowledges and knowledge subjectivities are constituted within this power/knowledge assemblage, and challenge the boundaries of institutional knowledge production. We propose generative ways of understanding the possibilities for the production of alternative forms of knowledge in doctoral work that may confront and extend conventional notions of (doctoral) knowledge production, and what it means to make "an original contribution to knowledge".
National Tertiary Education Union. PO Box 1323, South Melbourne 3205, Australia. Tel: +61-3-92541910; Fax: +61-3-92541915; e-mail: editor@aur.org.au; Web site: http://www.aur.org.au
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia