In this post our guest blogger, Kirstin Wilmot, explains how her research into thesis writing provides insights into how students can learn to move effectively between concrete data and abstract theorising. She uses the concept of ‘semantic gravity’ from Legitimation Code Theory to explore this movement in doctoral theses. Kirstin is a final year PhD student in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney.
By Kirstin Wilmot
Theorising data in PhD research is a daunting task. It’s easy to get lost in the wilderness of data, and when the commonly given advice is to just ‘apply theory to your data’, it’s easy to see where anxiety creeps in. What does ‘theorising’ even involve?
There is little consensus on how to theorise. Most studies tend to adopt a focus on the importance of using theory in research, but don’t provide much guidance on how to actually apply theory to data.
I have used ‘semantic gravity’ from Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) to better understand the theorising process. Continue reading