Re: "layered identity"

Alessandra Iantaffi (
Fri, 10 May 1996 18:08:48 +0100 (BST)

Hi Louise!

Your research interest looks like a very exciting, even if a complex one.
About my research question.... I don't really have one yet, but I have
many 'wondering thoughts' about the situation of disabled women in HE.
One of those thoughts was on identity. Another one, is how can institutes
of HE work towards the achievement of equity in education, when the
student, and teaching bodies, are so varied in their membership? (Well,
there is a lot of practical things they can do, but how can they insure
that, at policy level, everybody's rights are respected and included, as
they should be?) And I have a few others, but I don't think they are of
partcular interest to you maybe.

So far, my supervisor seems happy with my bringing up a lot of questions,
no answers, and no defined 'research question', even if I am approaching
the end of my first year (I am on a 4 yrs. studentship). She has a varied
and long record of supervision, so I trust her when she tells me that it
is not crucial at the moment to have a research question as such. My own
personal view is that having a narrow research question since the
beginning of the research can hinder the process, rather than helping it.
What do other people out there think? However one thing I can suggest
is to keep writing evrything you think of,and to keep a diary during the
development of your research, a personal log of thoughts, feelings,
ideas. Mine is like a gold mine to me, and I know I will not exhaust it
with my PhD (hopefully).

I hope that you will not be a silent presence on the list, even if I
wonder, at times, if it is safe to be so open when we don't know who's
watching the debates, and the idea makes me nervous. However, I trust
human nature (probably more than I should) and I will keep boring
evrybody with my reflections.

I would love to give you some practical advice of where to start
thingking about identities within a pcp framework, but honestly I still
have not found out anything on that side ( apart from a very inspiring
opening keynote address presented by Luis, at the EPCA conference last
month, but I don't have the paper, does anybody out there have a copy?).
If you are, like me, new to PCP, i can pass on the suggestion of my
supervisor to read a book called "A Psychology for Living", by (ooops I
don't have my index cards here but I can let you know). It was a very
useful introduction to pcp for me. Please keep in touch through the list
or personal mails.