Signup date: 01 Mar 2014 at 8:09am
Last login: 31 Jul 2017 at 7:14am
Post count: 92
The free version of Express Scribe should be enough, it's what I've always used. For some sound file formats you might have to upgrade.
I found NVivo a big help for organising my qualitative work but I had huge quantities of data - as Pjlu says, plenty of people use paper and highlighters. There are alternatives though if you do want to use software and your uni doesn't have a licence for NVivo, e.g. Dedoose.
Invest in a set of noise cancelling headphones and a foot pedal, they'll both make life easier. And investigate what's appropriate for and required by your project - many social scientists transcribe word for word, while others transcribe only the "highlights". The former has the advantage that the transcripts may be reusable (they can be potentially be re-analysed from a different angle at a later date), the latter saves your fingers! My supervisor always transcribes her interviews the evening after they take place - that way they never build up into an unmanageable pile.
I can’t see how a healthy relationship can stem from this power dynamic, or how a good PhD would be possible if you’re in a relationship with your supervisor and experiencing all of the ups and downs of a relationship. Choose one - your choice - but not both, and be strong about it. You're in a much more vulnerable position than him so be careful.
And what BevCha says about reputation - reputation is so important in academia and its foundations are built during the PhD.
It's just a good old existential crisis:
This can be a really difficult time and it’s rare for things to work out perfectly. £1000 a month isn’t too much so hopefully you will find a balance that earns you enough money without taking too much time and energy. I started working full-time as soon as I finished my first draft (which was also when my funding ran out). The job is mentally demanding and unenjoyable and weekends and annual leave are for the thesis. I’m pretty much there now with the thesis (waiting for feedback on corrections) but life has been all work and no play for almost a year and it's taken its toll. Meanwhile, people who started their PhDs long after me have finished before me because they've had support from parents or partners, or just managed to arrange their lives better, and could devote most of their time to the final push. I know we shouldn't compare but I’ve found this difficult psychologically if I’m honest.
However, needs must. I'm very lucky that I can pay my bills and it’s short-term pain for long-term gain, hopefully there will be a better job on the horizon. And I really enjoyed the first couple of years of the PhD - I still think it's a huge privilege to be given funding to do one - so I try to think of it in terms of the overall experience and keep positive.
You'll muddle through somehow, GrumpyMule. Starting to save is a good idea.
It seems much worse than it is right now and you'll figure that out over the next few weeks.
I was in a similar situation - my supervisor was really pleased with my thesis, I was happy enough with it, but the examiners were very critical about some aspects, especially the external. Like you, I started tearing up afterwards in front of my supervisor and just managed to make it home before having a good cry. And yes, the whole not knowing what to tell expectant friends and family - so hard.
I managed to do my corrections in just under 3 months, working on them a couple of days a week. I can see that it's a better thesis as a result, too, and in retrospect am glad I had the opportunity to improve it although I certainly didn't feel like that at the time. You just need a bit of space and perspective and you'll feel better about the situation. Well done!
Ganesha, I’m a social science PhD and am having trouble understanding your opening post. In my experience it’s not usual to talk about “writing” a postdoc or to refer to it as a degree. And it sounds as if you’re questioning the legitimacy yourself by asking if it’s “formal” or a “proxy postdoc” and where the money comes from. Maybe you can provide more background so that we can understand better - I've never heard of this practice.
It is confusing! You could try Crotty's book on The Foundations of Social Research, which explains the different terminologies. My understanding is that the literature review normally informs the approach you take to your empirical research rather than constituting a particular approach in itself - but maybe I've misunderstood your question.
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