Monday, November 22, 2010

The plot thickens: Conversational moves in phd writing

Kamler and Thomson suggest developing the thesis as argument might be progressed through conversational means, so here goes:

So here's the problem
Change is bloody hard to make happen. (Ch.1 contextualising)
Even when its seen somewhere else and looks like its the best thing since sliced bread, making it happen, getting others to align, how then to win friends and influence to get all the ducks in a row...And as much as i think i might be making a change happen, whats it doing back?
So I'm going to look at change.

I take the example of emergent technologies in a youth counselling centre.
How do things get off the ground, where's it come from...everyone's implicated, and so are things...
Something that's not been done before evolves, there were a few things up in the air, one of them really takes off. Whats involved?
How does it reshape those involve; people, practices, and the things.

So there's a multitude of ways change gets looked at, and they only ever get part of the picture.
How would we know whats needed and whats possible if we only get part of the picture?
And how could we intervene to make such a change more positive, and on what grounds, because things might be otherwise.
And this brings up alternate realities, for which groups or individuals do we talk of when we consider the positive?
Ah there's a controversy in this: What to do with concurrent positives and negatives? And what of multiple realities that sometimes converge, clash or are distributed so that they not clash.

This change that happens crosses disciplines and has never been explored before, so there's a need to check out education, health, psychology- inter and intra-personal, and there's organizational change, top down and bottom up.
And there's consideration for the technology, and consideration for counselling.
So i make a space inside of which I can portray the multiplicity involved. I make a space I can talk from. (Ch2 networking the theory space being clarifications and ch 3 illogics and logics of change lit review)

And in looking at approaches to change, I can say why they are flawed, or at least fractional, and partial in both senses of the word. Can it be otherwise: no.
They give a part of the picture, they simplify too far. I use the literature on change as an example of how realities do this; they're partial always.
I introduce ANT, an approach that seems more robust, while at the same time is very humble; it doesnt prescribe, and it doesnt do causation, and it works with partial- in both meanings. Considerable justification is given to my choosing a method that openly acknowledges no claim to understanding everything nor provides answers.

(ch 4 ANT sensibilities) how to do an ant informed study, what further knowledge of ant is needed

(ch 5 methodological praxis)I negotiate work with a not-for-profit organisation i have been associated with who are expanding the repertoire on approaches they have taken to counselling.
Its important to understand whats going on in as much as we can because:
1. the agency wants to understand how change may then be shaped for good. Shaping services for good matters, it matters for young people; they have a need to be heard and to be taken seriously with regard to services that purports to meet their needs.
2. this research shares practice that has not previously been written of (text counselling).
3. to contribute to discussions of social material relationality particularly in regard for how digital spaces might be interfered with for good; to better meet human purposes

(Ch 6 Slices of practice) So what i did was a three dimensional capture of the network involved in the semisolid practices of text counselling particularly.
I present the findings, some of the findings, sufficient of the portray the knowledge of whats shaping the service. These are presented as slices of practice.(ch 6, data analysis)
This involves giving voice to artefacts, to data- 6000 text counselling messages, to CCT's, interviewing clients and providers of the service, and staff who make the serive possible.

(ch 7 discussion) And it allowed me to see

1. how things might be otherwise, considerations for the organization, including opening up areas of discussion, opening up questions of what if...what of scale, what of 'stickiness of the medium, what of smartphones, broadband access being more available, costs shifting...
2. considerations for practice: writing up a practice shift; identifying the significant aspects of this new practice
3. consideration for ANT in regard to issues of identity and agency; of multiple realities; of making digital spaces more amenable to human needs

(Chapter 8, conclusion)Realities are multiple; diversity required, conclusions are multivocal:
Whats learned in doing this?
That things can be/are now otherwise:
for the agency
for ant
for counselling
for me: that change takes work; that research involves researcher repsonsibilty.

Some further plot thickening: how to turn the genre of a storyline into the argument of a thesis... I think there's a tautology involved: Seems to my mind that a networked approach just isnt going to do nice straight trajectories.

Kamler, B. and Thomson, P.(2006). Helping doctoral students write. New York, NY.: Routledge

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