Power and hegemony in research supervision: A critical discourse analysis

Aliya Sikandar, Nasreen Hussain


This qualitative case study research aimed to investigate the notions of power and hegemony in research consultations around the construct of language ideologies. The study employed purposive sampling by selecting two MS (Education) research supervisees with their supervisors. It identified a social wrong of power and hegemony in research supervision practices and with a transformative spirit, hoped to bring about awareness and modifications in research supervision. Methodically, the study followed the analytical approach of Norman Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) (1989; 2003). The data were collected through observations and transcriptions of research consultation meetings and interviews of the participants. The textual analysis of case one revealed how language became a source of establishing asymmetrical power relations between the participants. Contrastingly, in case two the consultations were not hinged on language aspects and had more equality and homogeneity between the partners. The finding of the study indicated that language ideologies played a very important role in sustaining the dominant position of the powerful agent, that is, the supervisor. Based on the findings, it is hoped that this research would lead to more democratic styles of supervision and equity and emancipation in supervision as a social practice.


Keywords: critical discourse analysis, power and hegemony, language ideologies, research supervision



Language and Education

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22555/joeed.v5i2.2189


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License