LLM or PhD reconsidered

So, there we go again. I have thought about this during the last few days. While doing the second week of the ‘Writing you research proposal’ course, I realised that doing the PhD in Social Sciences might not be the best course of action. I tried it before and failed as I lost interest and the idea of having to interview 50 – 60 people was more than I could face. So, trying to do basically the same or a very similar thing is probably a bad idea.

I am also not sure what I am actually trying to prove. After doing a small literature review on the decision making of women to continue working vs retirement, it seems that this has been quite thoroughly researched so finding a unique angle would be quite difficult. My idea to use identity as an analytic lens really requires a lot more knowledge on the academic concept of identity than I have.

Then, there is the research impact aspect. Even if I went down that route, who would benefit from this research? It is not really a policy issue as there are no policies that consider women’s retirement in particular. Employers do not look at this from a gender perspective either. So, I am not sure I would be able to provide a sound argument why my research matters and to whom.

Hence, this leaves me with the decision to go back to the original plan of doing the LLM and then seeing if the research that is part of it unveils any area that could be extended to a PhD. I mean, I do like law. It speaks to me because it is structured and logical. I know little about it but within the two years of the LLM I should be able to come up with something that I can expand on, undergrads do it all the time when they go straight from their initial degree to a Phd.

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