Chapter 34: From dialogue to ‘being in and of’ a qualitative research culture: lived experiences of research students
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The purpose of this chapter is to narrate and interpret the lived experiences of four research students who variously engaged in a series of research dialogue sessions over a two and a half year period. The research dialogue sessions were designed to generate dialogue through collective learning experiences. The sessions were founded on social learning theories and community of practice principles. The dialogue sessions were instigated by the students’ university research-student supervisor to facilitate enculturation into a university-research culture and acculturation into a qualitative research profession. As part of a process of reflexive praxis, the supervisor asked the four students to write about their individual lived experiences of the research dialogue sessions. Each of the students wrote a narrative tale constructed using minimal equilibrium/disequilibrium emplotments. Thematic analysis was used to interpret and explain their experiences. The students were included in the interpretive processes. Specific recommendations for tourism and hospitality research student training include acknowledgement of and attention to the role of affect in the conduct of qualitative research and experiencing university research cultures, the use of a partnership model of supervision, the importance and inclusion of social learning theories, recognition of the role of supervisors in the establishment and continuance of research dialogue sessions, the power of dialogue for social learning with peers, and a shifting of locus of control from supervisors to students in research dialogue sessions. Importantly for praxis, through the process of engaging in qualitative research dialogue sessions, students learnt how to ‘be in and of’ a qualitative research culture and how to professionally ‘be’ a qualitative researcher.

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