Tales from post-field work: writing up; vivas; conferences; and publications.

Clarke, Caroline (2015). Tales from post-field work: writing up; vivas; conferences; and publications. In: Clarke, Caroline; Broussine, Michael and Watts, Linda eds. Researching with Feeling: The Emotional Aspects of Social and Organisational Research. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 126–146.

URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/97804156443...


The point comes when the researcher needs to “write up” and present his or her research, as a dissertation or thesis, as a report, article and/or conference paper. For example, there can surely be few educational situations which provoke such anxiety as the viva voce. The potential for anguish at this stage is deep and multi-faceted. Many if not most researchers report anxiety about writing up their research, especially from the point of view of “going public” on something critical or radical. Feelings of self-doubt (the “impostor syndrome”: Clance and Imes, 1978) are common at this stage of the project, and these feelings can be reinforced by the experience of rejection (by supervisors, publishers, academia) or by the prospect of criticism and humiliation; others’ vulnerabilities stem from wondering whether what they have produced is a “proper” thesis or article. Researchers may also wonder whether they have done justice to the voices of those who participated in the study, and/or whether they have projected their own anxieties into their work. These situations provoke intense feelings, yet are rarely acknowledged in books about ‘how to research’ or even about the working lives of academics.

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