Systematic Metaphors in Norwegian Doctoral Dissertation Acknowledgements

Abstract

This article investigates patterns of systematic metaphors used to characterize various aspects of the doctoral education period, based on analysis of dissertation acknowledgements (DAs) from doctoral dissertations across academic disciplines and written by researchers from four PhD programs offered by a Norwegian university. The primary research question addressed here asks which metaphors doctoral researchers in Norway use to describe their educational experience as a whole, as well as the assistance they received during their doctoral period. A discourse dynamics approach is applied to the data, allowing for the identification of metaphors employed about these topics followed by the categorization of the identified metaphors into broader categories. The resulting overview of the systematic metaphorical patterns in DAs provides empirical evidence concerning how doctoral researchers view their experiences, useful in mentoring situations as a starting point for addressing attitudes, beliefs and values about the various challenges and rewards involved in doctoral trajectories

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