Writing the Qualitative Dissertation: Understanding by Doing

By Judith M. Meloy | Go to book overview

10
UNDERSTANDING BY ENDING

Beginning With Endings

As I look back, it strikes me that my writing has evolved over time …; my doctoral experience marked a time when I became more of a connected knower and writer…. I think it's a lot about finding voice and becoming more confident about what I think and say and write about—and feeling supported in that process. (Katie)

Reviewers for the second edition encouraged me to put more of “me” in this book. I remain convinced that there is plenty of me here, even before I made so many explicit comments and connecting statements. Is qualitative research about the researcher, who defines the needle, spins the thread, and pieces together the understandings; or is it about the “context, richly defined? Does the audience for this text want to know about me—or have they found situations to avoid and ideas to try as a result of becoming a part of a community of individuals who have undertaken—and therefore understand and have some insight into—the processes the novice is now going through? Have they found support? Only with such fine and patient correspondents could I have provided this opportunity. In this same chapter of the first edition, I wrote:

I have a diagram in my notes; there is a line = arrow = the researcher directed toward a bull's eye = target = context. The perspective from the tip of the arrow prior to entering the field (the arrow lined up to the target from 100 yards away) looks differently than the target from the tip of the arrow immersed in the context. At some point, the arrow is removed from or falls out of the context, and again, the per

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