This is a collection of some of my publications about metaphor analysis. All were previously published in internationally recognised, peer-reviewed journals during my PhD candidature at The Australian National University, and were reports on my on-going research about PhD students’ conceptions of research. I used metaphor analysis to analyse the students’ responses to a survey asking them to decribe their research.
The order presented here is not necessarily the order in which the papers were published. I have re-arranged them to make a more coherent account of the story and progress of my work.
This is the story of my journey throughout the time of my PhD candidature. It gives a chronological account of important events and decision which affected my progress towards the completion of my candidature and the writing of my thesis.
I give this account in the form of a story or narrative as it seems to me the best way of showing how I developed as a researcher during my candidature and how my thinking changed as I progressed through my analysis and writing. It is intended not only to show where I started from and where I ended up, but also how I got there.
To begin at the beginning, then:
Thoughts on my autoethnographical approach.
I chose to write the Introduction to my thesis as an autoethnography because I believe it will help the reader understand the process of doing PhD research as a social phenomenon better. It is an account of one person’s experience as it is experienced by the person doing it.
I do not claim that my way is the only one. Rather it is presented in this form as a highly personalised account. As Sparkes says, autoethnographies ‘are highly personalized accounts that draw upon the experience of the author/researcher for the purposes of extending sociological understanding’ (Sparkes 2000: 21). Wall says that ‘it is the intersection of the personal and the societal that offers a new vantage point from which to make a unique contribution to social science.’ (Wall 2008: 39). It is my intention to help the reader develop some way towards that understanding from my account of my own experience as a PhD candidate. Studies of the method ‘reveal that autoethnography has been used as a way of telling a story that invites personal connection rather than analysis.’ (Wall 2008: 39). I concur with Dyson (2007): ‘As my understanding of the narrative approach [of autoethnography] developed I began to recognise that it was an appropriate means of telling my story.’