Challenging the Dualistic Assumptions of Academic Writing: Representing Ph.D. Research As Embodied Practice

  • Mary Hanrahan Queensland University of Technology
Keywords: epistemology, dualism, research methodology, emotions, embodied mind, thesis writing, poststructuralism, tacit knowledge, biosocial system, education


This article will address the tensions between dualistic traditions of our culture (cf. WERTHEIM, 1999) and new ways of understanding how people come to know what they know through embodied practice within biological and social ecosystems (e.g., DAMASIO, 1994; LEAR, 1998; LEMKE, 1995; MATURANA & VARELA, 1992). It will also raise implications of a biosocial system model for research methodology and academic writing. In my Ph.D. thesis in education I demonstrated that a significant role was played in the construction of my knowledge by my body[-mind], much of it initially outside my awareness. However, I found that theses were still expected to support the myth that learning which will advance knowledge about education is almost exclusively the product of abstract and systematic logical processes, of a disembodied spirit. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0302301


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Author Biography

Mary Hanrahan, Queensland University of Technology
Mary HANRAHAN is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Innovation in Education, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology. As well as knowledge as (embodied) practice, her interests include research methodology; critical literacy; the relationship between motivation and language and literacy issues in science teaching and learning; and new teaching and learning technologies.