Discursive mingling and agentiveness in recontextualising “doing HDR research”
A self-critical sequel to De Rycker (2014)
This update is part of an ongoing research project into the recontextualisation of “doing HDR research” as a social practice complex. In this commentary, I revisit the claims and conjectures I made in this journal in 2014 in view of more systematic follow-up analyses that have since been conducted, still using – as before – Van Leeuwen’s (2008) socio-semantic model. I will also provide new findings and insights based on the seven-year graduation data that were obtained in 2019 for the original group of Malaysian Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students who participated in the structured interviews. It was found that none of the earlier hunches about the discourse of “doing HDR research” could be confirmed. Specifically, discursive mingling does not differentiate between future completers and non-completers, and there is no discursive evidence for any “disempowerment”. On the contrary, agentiveness is a marked feature of how students recontextualise their HDR practice. Somewhat unexpectedly, it also turns out to be a statistically significant difference for the non-completers. Further qualitative engagement with the original interview data also led to a first cautious generalisation about what sets the eventual completers apart.