Archive for May, 2010

St Deiniol’s residential library

Posted on May 30, 2010. Filed under: PhD stuff, Uncategorized | Tags: |

Just arrived at St Deiniol’s residential library, in north Wales, a legacy of W.E.Gladstone and home to all his books. It’s late victorian, built like a Welsh castle from red sandstone with warrens of corridors and a common room stuffed with ancient leather sofas and an odd collection of academics, bankers and theologians. I have a little room under the eaves, view of treetops and setting sun, and plan to spend the week in the splendid chapel of a library (the Victorian respect for knowledge of course) getting on with the PhD. The rates for full time students are so reasonable I suspect I’ll be back in July as I’ve decided to make a real go at finishing first draft by end July, final copy end Sept. Was heartened swapping notes with others who started PhD at about the same time to find that none of us has finished and indeed no one was quite sure how near they are to completing. Very odd to have a large task the progress of which is so hard to measure.

Back to St D’s : sleeping in a library sounds rather wonderful and the place has an air of hidden treasure, though a Guardian article last year may have blown its cover (see ).

Aim for the week: make a good start on PR case study material, finish Chapter 7 on professionalism through Jungian lens, possible notes to add to chapters on professional ethics. Might be too ambitious but I’m really hoping that break from home, rising for breakfast and some kind of osmosis from all those books will make this a productive few days.

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Approaches to professions

Posted on May 13, 2010. Filed under: Jung, PhD stuff, professions, Uncategorized | Tags: |

Useful supervision session this week. Just dithering about what to do next.  We talked about chapters on professionalism – before and after viewing the subject through a Jungian lens. Have had to teach myself a great deal about sociology in order to describe impact of Durkheim and Weber on concepts of profession in society. Interesting to discover in the later chapter the links between them and their contemporary Jung – a concern about the loss of the sacred from the world, the over-emphasis on rationality and the objective. Durkheim and Jung share more characteristics than do Weber and Jung, it seems as Weber is more clearly rooted in a Marxist perspective and much more interested in power relations than Jung ever expressed. Society is the locus of struggle and contested identity for Weber, where the psyche is the main field for Jung. Nevertheless, interesting overlaps of interest. Even found a terrific paper connecting Bourdieu and Jung, v v useful as Bourdieu’s conceptualisations of professions honours the inner world as well as outer constraints. (Also planning major research project on communication aspects of an anti-obesity campaign using Bourdieusian framework).

But current chapter 3 is a ‘smorgasbord’ of approaches to professions = x says that, y says this. Have set it all out as part of my own learning process but need to claim the topic and drive a narrative through the raw material. Actually always enjoy this stage of writing – the sudden authority when I sense I actually do know what I’m talking about. Not there yet, though – still waiting for that command to emerge.

Here’s an attempt to summarise my intent:

There are multiple perspectives on the role of professions in society, from those that simply describe what people do in certain professions (trait approach) to those who see professions as a power struggle for status (power approach). The latter group is of course the most interesting but it is complex and contradictory, comprising social constructivists, new institutional theory, neo-Marxist approaches, Bourdieu on social capital and habitus, Goffman on professions as performance. My approach has been to briefly describe each of these and the purpose of that is to ‘map’ the field of professional studies. This is particularly important for two reasons: one, the different perspectives inform varying claims to ethics, which are examined in the following chapter; and two, the later chapter which looks at the impact of a Jungian approach on current theory and practice needs, I think, to engage with a wide range of existing concepts. I sometimes think I could have made life easier by taking one theorist and comparing with Jung but needed to educate myself in these areas first.

So, chapter 3 sets out overview of professions; chapter 4 looks at varying approaches to professional ethics; 5 explains basic Jungian precepts; 6 sets out individuation as a basis for an ethic; 7 relates Jungian approach to professionalism; 8 considers what a Jungian professional ethic would look like.

As to progress:

3 and 7 are in rough draft but need to add material on professional identity formation and moral leadership

5 and 6 are pretty much done

4 and 8 are just notes

Plus case study to do and conclusion.

Hope to have full rough draft by end July – but still a tall order!

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