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Frontiers of Education in China

Front. Educ. China    2019, Vol. 14 Issue (2) : 206-233     https://doi.org/10.1007/s11516-019-0011-y
Research article
Deconstructing Doctoral Students’ Socialization from an Institutional Logics Perspective: A Qualitative Study of the Socialization of Chinese Doctoral Students in Finland
Gaoming ZHENG()
Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University, Tampere FI-33014, Finland
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Abstract

While socialization has become a major lens of research in doctoral education, this paper advances the theoretical foundation of the socialization process in doctoral education by using the institutional logics theory. Specifically, it proposes an analytical framework for understanding the socialization of doctoral students, where it is seen as a process of reconciling different or even competing institutional logics that drive students’ development in doctoral education. The framework has been applied in an empirical study of ten doctoral students in Finland who were funded by the China Scholarship Council (CSC). While proving the usefulness of the analytical framework, the study shows that CSC doctoral students mainly face the competing logics of profession and corporation during socialization. Influenced by a strong profession logic, the Chinese students have transformed themselves into novice professionals and knowledge producers. Corporation logic competed with profession logic in the management of doctoral students and has resulted in a lack of teaching experiences in doctoral training and a weak recognition of professional identity in the students’ host universities. The influence of family logic, inherited from CSC doctoral students’ cultural backgrounds, has been decoupled in the socialization process and has led to a strong sense of loss in handling the supervisory relationship between supervisors and students. Based on the findings of this study, the author provides several recommendations for host universities, supervisors, doctoral students, the CSC, and the Chinese Embassy in Finland to enable them to work together and help CSC doctoral students tackle the aforementioned challenges.

Keywords doctoral education      socialization, China      Finland      China Scholarship Council (CSC)      institutional logics     
Issue Date: 05 July 2019
 Cite this article:   
Gaoming ZHENG. Deconstructing Doctoral Students’ Socialization from an Institutional Logics Perspective: A Qualitative Study of the Socialization of Chinese Doctoral Students in Finland[J]. Front. Educ. China, 2019, 14(2): 206-233.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fed/EN/10.1007/s11516-019-0011-y
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fed/EN/Y2019/V14/I2/206
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