Research and riting: PhD passage and theorising within the posts

Year: 1994

Author: Rhedding-Jones, Jeanette

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

My research is about rural schoolgirls aged from 4 to 12. To produce the research, I worked as a micro-ethnographer for three years. I then spent two more years trying to theorise the data and playing with my academic writing. What resulted as my PhD thesis queries its own structures and boundaries by breaking rules. In the process I have worked across various possibilities in postmodernism. These include post-Lacanian and feminist versions of psychoanalysis, amongst other deconstructions and poststructuralist practices.

In writing about girls, I have included myself. In writing differently, I have spoken in a variety of voices. In theorising, I have been eclectic. In trying to escape from some of the cramped conditions of academic writing, I firstly wrote a lot of rubbish.

A problem in producing research difference is that we may be constructing a research supervisor's nightmare. What is a poststructuralist "pass"? How autobiographical can we be before we call our work a novel? Are the "readers of our research" people with- out academia as well as with-in it?

In this paper, I exemplify some of my writing as a researcher who has worked in these ways. The presentation of this paper is not so much about the multiple theories, initial methodologies and primary-school- based data that informed my research. Instead, I focus now on the academic practices of writing subjectively and inter-generically. These practices are at the same time transforming and problematic for contemporary research cultures.