Seeking the Single Thread: the Conceptual Quest

Su, Feng and Nixon, Jon and Adamson, Bob (2010) Seeking the Single Thread: the Conceptual Quest. In: The Routledge Doctoral Student's Companion: Getting to Grips with Research in Education and the Social Sciences. Routledge, London, pp. 85-95. ISBN 9780415484121

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This chapter focuses on how research works as a process of interpretive enquiry. It argues that research is necessarily a heuristic endeavour the outcomes of which cannot be pre-specified. When we ask open questions, we cannot presume to know the answers. The practice of interpretive enquiry requires patience, a waiting mind, a kind of stillness: dispositions that are difficult to acquire. We outline this line of argument in the opening section. The central section is concerned with a specific case: how do we begin to frame questions regarding the experience of students of Chinese origin in an English university that has its own complicated history of institutional development. We build this chapter around that central story of intellectual discovery and conceptualisation. The final section – attempting to weave the various strands into a single thread – returns to the indeterminacy of enquiry. What, under such epistemological circumstances, constitutes a beginning?

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Education Studies
Depositing User: FRANK SU
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 09:13
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 09:13

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