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‘Being free’: an ethnographic exploration of the passionate attachment of educational psychologists to their reports

Percival, Catherine (2019) ‘Being free’: an ethnographic exploration of the passionate attachment of educational psychologists to their reports. DEdCPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Although considerable time is spent in the creation of reports by educational psychologists (EPs), there has been surprisingly little research in the field. Much of what is available is more concerned with the structure, content or utility of the report for different audiences than with meaning for the professional. In this research project, I explore how reports are spoken about by the Educational Psychology Service (EPS) - in which I am a trainee - and the implications that these reports may have for the subjectivity of the EPs. Being immersed in practice on placement provided the opportunity to adopt an ethnographic methodology within the EPS base. Here I collected the language used about reports from three sources: fieldnotes; recording and transcription of a journal club held by the EPS; and two further interviews in the form of extended conversations with two EPs. Using discourse analysis drawing on a critical framework, I proposed 7 discourses that were used when speaking of reports: ‘reports as just acts’; ‘reports as psychological’; ‘reports as helpful’; ‘reports as defining EPs’; ‘reports as difficult’; ‘reports as expert’; and ‘reports as a purchase’. I engaged with further analysis based on the work of the philosopher Judith Butler. I explored how reports appear to be implicated in what it is possible for EPs to be and how EPs may trouble these assumptions using Butler’s psychoanalytically informed ideas of passionate attachment, foreclosure and iterative performativity. I suggest that EPs remain agentic professionals with the potential to ‘re-cite’ what reports and report writing could be.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdCPsy)
Keywords: educational psychologists, reports, ethnographic, discourse analysis, Judith Butler, subjectivity, subjectivation, passionate attachment, foreclosure, iterative performativity.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.784708
Depositing User: Mrs Catherine Percival
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2019 09:03
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24712

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