PhD Thesis

A Review of my thesis can be found here

I completed my PhD "Taking Education Seriously: Developing Bourdieuan Social Theory in the Context of Teaching and Learning Medical Ethics in the UK Undergraduate Medical Degree" in December 2011. My supervisor was Professor Lindsay Prior, a medical sociologist and it was examined by Alan Cribb, Professor of Bioethics and Education at Kings College London. It is a work of interdisciplinary social theory that seeks to articulate a view on formal medical ethics education that can be connected with views on the moral socialisation of medical students. To this end I explore Bourdieuan social theory, particularly in the context of other studies of medical education, as well as views on education, including professional education, apprenticeship theory and the teaching of thinking particularly ideas of 'metacogntion'. I develop adopt term 'enculturation', as articulated by Shimahara in her interpretation of Herskovits. This acts as a conceptual compliment the more common idea of socialisation within what Bourdieu calls a collective enterprise of inculcation. This is cashed out in terms of teaching concepts, metacognitive thinking, and the idea of thinking dispositions. This theoretical exegesis is methodological conducted in Wittgensteinian or, more accurately, Winchean terms. The primary commitments of this approach are to Zigon's cartography of morality (and ethics) and to a view of medical (ethics) education. The latter is given through an contemporary historical account of the development of medical ethics education in the UK and a particular 'case study' of the teaching career of one W.G. Irwin, the UK's second Professor of General Practice.

The contents page and abstract can be found here. An complete copy of the thesis, or specific chapters, can be obtained from me on request. I am working on a number of publications from my thesis, including a book. Details of my work in progress can be found here