A Bourdieusian perspective on becoming and being a postgraduate supervisor: the role of capital
Maritz, J. and Pinsloo, P. (2015)
Higher Education Research and Development. DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2015.1011085
The objective of this paper is to map the role of capital in the process of learning to become a postgraduate supervisor. Economic, technological and geopolitical changes in higher education call into question previous assumptions about supervision.
Supervision is no longer primarily seen as an intellectual and social enterprise but is increasingly seen as professional work, where one’s capital (or lack of) shapes the process of being and becoming a supervisor. It is frequently assumed that the students are the only ones learning in a supervisory relationship.
Novice supervisors are, however, often left to their own devices to discover or learn the inherent rules, epistemologies and ontologies in becoming and being supervisors through a process of compromise and negotiation. In this article, we specifically focus on the need for novice supervisors to understand and navigate the field, and plot their career trajectories, as a constant exchange of different aspects of capital.
This article is conceptual, rather than empirical. We suggest that it may be helpful to understand the field of supervision in a Bourdieusian sense, with specific reference to the role of (academic) capital in the formative processes of becoming and being a supervisor. We discuss social capital, gender and race, age, values, beliefs and experiences, as well as linguistic abilities, as factors influencing the individual habitus of the supervisor in relation to the doxa of the field.
Cite this article
Maritz, J. and Pinsloo, P. (2015) A Bourdieusian perspective on becoming and being postgraduate supervisor. Higher Education Research and Development. DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2015.1011085