Laura Gets Her PhD. A Satire in Seven Acts


  • Angelika Birck Behandlungszentrum für Folteropfer Berlin



single-case analysis, university as a research topic, power structures, science as a profession, dissertation


This is a fictional text. It is the creative by-product of writing a doctoral thesis and a retrospective, memory distorted, and entirely non-academic reflection of this process. All statements are subjective, emotional and purely fictitious. Therefore, this description does not allow any conclusions about real persons or events in the present or in past times. No similarity to persons, either living or dead is intended. This is the story of the psychologist Laura Wolf, who tries to obtain her doctorate studying the recovery processes of victims of sexual violence during childhood. Laura is confronted with a variety of conflicts within the university, rigid power structures, which cannot be overcome, bureaucratic obstacles, and personal vanity. These barriers are amplified by individual reactions to her thesis topic. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0302171


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Author Biography

Angelika Birck, Behandlungszentrum für Folteropfer Berlin

Angelika BIRCK, Ph.D., Psychologist, in pursuit of a degree in Behaviour Therapy. Her dissertation focused on sexual violence against children. From 1998-2004, she conducted scientific research at the Behandlungszentrum für Folteropfer Berlin (Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims). Her research topics included: chronic and complex trauma, political and social frameworks for traumatized refugees in Germany, female victims of prosecution, asylum issues, and psychotherapy in an intercultural context.



How to Cite

Birck, A. (2003). Laura Gets Her PhD. A Satire in Seven Acts. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 4(2).



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