A sociocultural view of doctoral students' relationships and agency

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Journal Article
Studies in Continuing Education, 2010, 32 (2), pp. 103 - 117
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Existing literature suggests that doctoral students' learning and experience are significantly influenced by their relationships with a wide range of people within and beyond academic settings. However, there has been little theoretical work focused on these issues, and questions of agency in doctoral study are in need of further attention. This paper draws on sociocultural theory in the analysis of interviews conducted with 33 doctoral students across four UK research-intensive universities. It focuses on agency and frames others as mediating studentsâ experiences whether as embodied or represented in material, or imaginary form.
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