Becoming a Scholar

Cross-cultural reflections on identity and agency in an education doctorate

Edited by Maria Savva and Lynn P. Nygaard

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ISBN: 9781787357679

Publication: March 01, 2021

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Becoming a Scholar provides a window into the lives of nine non-traditional doctoral students. As mature, part-time, international students enrolled in a professional doctorate programme, they reflect on the transformation process of becoming scholars, and their narratives provide breadth and depth to themes that represent a diverse cross-section of cultures, identities and communities. How do you conduct research in a conservative Middle Eastern country when your ethical guidelines come from a liberal-democratic university? What happens when you lose access to your research site midway through your data collection? How do you continue a doctorate when you run out of money or have to deal with a family crisis? And how do you reconcile your professional identity with your growing identity as an academic? These are just a few of the challenges the authors grappled with during their doctoral journeys.

Recognising that the process of becoming a scholar is as much internal as it is external, the book provides an opportunity to engage with authentic personal stories that remain firmly rooted in academic literature. By bringing the ‘human face’ behind the doctoral journey to the forefront, the narratives draw much-needed attention to the personal journey that inevitably parallels and intersects with the academic journey. Although the narratives are drawn from a professional Doctor in Education (EdD) programme based in the UK, the struggles are sure to resonate with a much wider range of doctoral students and academics, sparking lively discussion, debate and reflection. A must-read for students preparing to embark on the doctoral journey, and essential reading for doctoral programmes that wish to equip students with important knowledge about the challenges ahead. 

Maria Savva is Associate Professor and Director of International Studies, at the City University of New York’s LaGuardia campus.

Lynn P. Nygaard is a special advisor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway.

Foreword - Bryan Cunningham

List of contributors


1.      Belonging and becoming in academia: A conceptual framework -  Lynn P. Nygaard and Maria Savva
2.      A tale of two languages: First-language attrition and second-language immersion -  Barbora Necas and Susi Poli
3.      I found my tribe online: Belonging in the context of precarity - Muireann O’Keeffe
4.      A view of the Western university through the eyes of a non-Western student -  Mohammad Abdrabboh (Al-Batran)
5.      Navigating the pass: Distance, dislocation and the viva -  David Channon, with Maria Savva and Lynn P. Nygaard
6.      Understanding the personal significance of our academic choices -  Maria Savva
7.      Academic identity interrupted: Reconciling issues of culture, discipline and profession - Rab Paterson
8.      Into the fray: Becoming an academic in my own right -  Lynn P. Nygaard
9.      The cultural encounters of women on the periphery - Safa Bukhatir and Susi Poli
10.    The ‘peripheral’ student in academia: An analysis - Maria Savva and Lynn P. Nygaard


Format: Paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

198 Pages

Copyright: © 2021

ISBN: 9781787357679

Publication: March 01, 2021

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