Dr...for a professional degree?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Michael Burgos, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    Ok, maybe that's possible. I have never seen a dissertation in dance studies until now.
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes - it's definitely possible. I have a hunch that such degrees are easier to find in English-speaking countries. I recently compiled a list of fashion-related PhD programs - still working on the links etc. Plentiful in US, Canada, UK, India and Australia as well. Less so elsewhere.

    Surprisingly, only ONE PhD fashion program in France (and it claimed to be the first in that country) and only one or two in Italy. NONE in Germany (quite a few Master's programs). Looks like your viewpoint prevails in Europe, mintaru. Especially in your own country. "Vive la différence," I guess. Or perhaps "Es lebe der Unterschied." :)
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  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Professional doctorates and scholarly doctorates are both "research degrees." The scholarly doctorate uses research to add to new knowledge in the field--usually by theory writing or theory testing. The professional doctorate uses research to contribute to practice, instead of making an original contribution to the scholarship of the field.

    It's also worth noting that neither degree necessarily requires one to create new data. Many a doctorate has been granted to someone taking extant data and creating new meaning from it.

    The first professional doctorate, used to enter certain professions, would not be a research degree.

    Finally, before I dismissed the PhD in whatever as a non-scholarly field, I would look carefully at the scholarship in that field. Is there a controlling or central theory, for example? Do other theories contribute to it? In my field, for example, there is a central theory with three contributing theories and one baseline support. (Think of a 3-legged stool sitting on a platform.) In my research, I built a new theory using that one, several theories from sociology, and my own empirical research. Actually, I did it in the other direction, gathering data first and inferring a new theory from it, using a process called grounded theory. Because my school was rooted in economics and sociology, my theory stretched those limits. Believe me, it was a battle to get my proposal approved. (They objected to the chief learning officer as a subject, my approach to HRD, and to my inductive approach using grounded theory.) But at my viva, ironically it was my external examiner who wanted a deeper dive into the theoretical roots of the phenomenon, beyond simply interpreting the data and describing the phenomenon. I didn't know he would be the external examiner until well after I'd submitted my thesis, but I knew who he was and had cited him several times in my thesis.

    (Although the Doctor in Social Science is mistaken for a professional doctorate, it most certainly is not. It is a scholarly doctorate considered by Leicester as equal to the PhD.)

    I'm not saying "Dance Studies" is a scholarly field, but I wouldn't dismiss it without looking.
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  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Neither would I, Rich - and I'm not contradicting anything you said. As a non-doctoral, non-academic nonentity, I don't have that right.

    What I would like to point out is the amazing variety - including dance - of subjects that have been found PhD worthy.

    I read in a degree forum years ago - not sure which, that a man older than I am now -I think he was 89, had just finished his PhD at Oxford. His research subject had to do with historical aspects of early British railways. He was the oldest student on record to have earned a PhD from Oxford University.

    I thought about dance - and what, if anything had been researched about the tango, from its earliest days in Buenos Aires. Took me two minutes to pull up this article on Juan Sebastian Delgado, a recent PhD grad. - His research field - Tango.


    I thought again about other dance forms - possibly early rock 'n roll dances and the crossover from Black into White society, and I thought:"Yeah - if British Railway history is a good enough PhD topic for Oxford - maybe there's room for one like this:

    "The Booty Green - its cross-cultural migration in socio-integrative terms." Or "A sociological examination of the origins of Boogaloo." Indeed, I believe that there are myriad opportunities for PhD level study of dance. It's all out there... waiting.

    Here's the original record. Bobby Marchan's Booty Green

    An 80-year old grandma dancing the Booty Green.

    Booty Green lyrics: https://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bobby_marchan/booty_green.html

    I know there's a University in Mexicostaragua just waiting to grant my PhD, for about 5 G's!! :)
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2022
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  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Sure. But I would want to hear the theoretical basis for it, as well as the scholarly discipline it contributes to. That's what determines if it is a scholarly topic.

    That said, it's amazing what you'll see in the award of a PhD. My PhD dissertation was all about advancing practice, not scholarship. The more-experienced me would have told the younger me to go back and situate the work in scholarship. As I've posted elsewhere, it's like I did a professional doctorate and got a PhD, then did a scholarly doctorate and got a DSocSci.

    This can matter, too. WES evaluated my degree as a "master's-plus" because they have a rule that they do not evaluate professional doctorates from European schools as equivalent to the PhD. This despite the fact that:
    • It is a scholarly doctorate, not a professional one
    • Leicester says it is
    • Leicester says it is equal to the PhD
    • Leicester expects scholarly contribution, not professional (practice)
    • The degree carries the same credits as a PhD
    • It meets the British QA system's requirements for a PhD and is considered equal to one
    The only difference between the PhD and the DSocSci is that the latter is a "taught" degree. But I could not move WES off their absurd position. The "E" in "WES" is a lie. They did zero evaluation and handled it worse than a trained monkey would. And NACES went along. Neither ever offered one scintilla of reasoning for the evaluation. No wonder people shop around for this stuff. From everything I've heard--and experienced--it is unpredictably chaotic.

    I need a drink....
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'm not surprised. WES has that effect on people. I think the only thing that has kept me off the sauce for almost 18 years is NOT needing a PhD. ...or WES.

    Thanks for your comments, Rich. I get it, really I do. (I hope). My point there was that universities with good reputations (even stellar, like Oxford) deem very unusual things as suitable for PhD studies - i.e. they pass the requisite sniff tests on scholarship, research etc.
    Precisely HOW they pass -or by what exact standards - is beyond my ken. But PhDs are awarded - by good schools that should know the drill.

    I have to get back to my diss, now. My research from Google:

    "Boogaloo originated in New York City mainly among teenage African Americans and Latinos. The style was a fusion of popular African American rhythm and blues (R&B) and soul music with mambo and son montuno, with songs in both English and Spanish."

    Now, what the heck is 'son montuno?' Oh yeah.... here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_montuno
    Another 18 months and I'll be almost there!! :)
  7. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    After thinking about it again, I believe you're probably right.

    By the way, I actually know the difference between professional doctorates and first professional doctorates. Nevertheless, it sometimes happens to me that I confuse the two. I think the reason is that in some German speaking countries (mainly Austria) there are degrees that would be called first professional doctorates in English speaking countries, but in German they are called "Professionelle Doktorgrade". (There are no such degrees in Germany.)

    That being said, I guess I've become a victim of my own cultural bias in a way.
    I probably have to explain that.

    In German-speaking countries, there is a very clear distinction between so-called traditional universities, universities of applied sciences, and universities and colleges of art. Traditional universities do not offer any art degrees.

    Until about 25 years ago, classical universities were the only ones with the right to award doctoral degrees. Even today, very few arts colleges have that right, and the fact that they have it has been sharply criticized to this day by representatives of classical universities. In Germany, higher education is primarily the responsibility of individual German states, and in most states it is still not possible for an art school to obtain the right to award doctorates.

    This is precisely the reason why, as Johann has already pointed out, there are so few doctoral degrees in the arts in German-speaking countries.

    To be honest, I just assumed that "dance studies" and other art studies are not really scholarly fields. Exactly that is one of the arguments that is made again and again by the classic universities.

    Now I think I was most likely wrong.
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  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Or, more likely (since you seem rather inquisitive), there is yet more to know.
  9. datby98

    datby98 Active Member

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  10. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Did you get a second opinion? I evaluated my MBA through ECE. Their process is less complicated than WES.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes - Satyanarayana. The guy with doctorates from some schools he doesn't seem to know the proper names of, and doctorates from other schools that don't offer them in the fields he claims. Schools from Stanford (!) from which I THINK he claims a PhD in Hinduism to fishy outfits in Mexicostaragua.

    Case heard, and verdict reached in the other forum. Take him away... :(
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2022
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No, because I didn't need it. I did it originally so I could understand the process.

    I still don't.
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  13. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

    Link please?
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  15. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

  16. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    MD, DO, OD, DPT, DVM, PhD, DBA, EdD, so on and so forth. At the conferring of their degree, they are entitled to the use of Dr. before their name. Obviously, the environment in which they use it is important.
  17. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

    Agreed. However, it is interesting to me that some folks are really bothered by it.
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  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Someone like that provides entertainment, not a threat.
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  19. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    I think the environment is the key.

    When people with a certain doctorate criticize other people with a different doctorate for also using the title of "Doctor", they almost never realize that these people are doing so in a different professional environment.

    The only doctorate that I feel should be used outside of a professional setting is the MD, and that's only because you never know when a medical emergency will occur. Knowing where to find the nearest doctor can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.
  20. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

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