n South African Journal of Higher Education - Spiraling reference : a case study of apprenticeship into an academic community of practice

Volume 23, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Recent South African meditations on the complex nature of post graduate supervision and teaching by Fataar (2005) and Waghid (2005; 2007) provide excellent accounts of the dialogic space between lecturer / supervisor and student. However, these accounts need to be supplemented by an explicit discussion of the broader academic communities of practice that post graduate students should be inducted into. This article uses the science studies of Latour (1993; 1999), the network theory of Collins (1998; 2004), and the formalization studies of Stinchcombe (2001) to trace the apprenticeship of one masters student into an academic community. It traces her implication within ever expanding intellectual networks and their academic practices as she is inducted into the peculiar rigours of post graduate research.

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