Psychology. Harry Bhadeshia’s Transitional Moments in Life


The ability to locate the key points in one’s development and determine the transition moments that would define the further development is essential to the skill of self-reflection and the ability to define one’s life direction. Therefore, assessing the interview with Harshad “Harry” Kumar Dharamshi Hansraj Bhadeshia served as an important way of approaching the issue of personal and professional transformation. Due to the multiple issues that the phenomenon of transformation incorporates, and the vast number of factors that affect the transitioning from one development phase to another, the assessment of the specified phenomenon represents a rather complicated process. However, by creating a set of codes for locating the key milestones in Bhadeshia’s development based on the interview taken with the respondent, the key themes of cultural identity, learning, personal progress, and experience as a formative part of one’s professional and academic development have been identified. Overall, the results of the interview point to the fact that cross-cultural dialogue plays a central role in improving the existing knowledge system and introducing new ideas to it. Therefore, the interview serves as a foundation for understanding what factors drive the development of lifelong learning tendencies and how one can build motivation and engagement in the learning process.


The process of transitioning from a specific stage of one’s personal or professional development to another is often fraught with a plethora of challenges linked to the availability of the needed resources, the background skill set, the leadership offered by a teacher, and many other factors. In his statement, Harry Bhadeshia talks about the transitional moments in his life by emphasising the role that the example of his father and the witnessing of his father’s workplace had on him as a teenager (“Harry Bhadeshia: Life as a Scientist,” 2014). Therefore, by drawing on the themes of immigration, responsibility, experimentation, and childhood learning as the essential concepts that served as the landmarks of his transitioning to becoming a lifelong learner and the aspiring scientist, Bhadeshia makes a very important statement (Arnott et al, 2018). Namely, the scientist outlines the role of the environment and especially the presence of socioeconomic and technological factors on sparking one’s interest in learning and achieving outstanding results in it.



Since the research question that this study was chosen to answer is primarily qualitative, the qualitative research method has been used as the carcass of this study. Specifically, the qualitative case study was created to determine the key themes in Bhadeshia’s narrative and analyse the transitional moments in his life. Therefore, the use of Positivism as the research approach and the application of the inductive method were selected (Gamlen and McIntyre, 2018). With the help of the specified tools, the key ideas that have arisen during the interview with Bhadeshia could be identified and arranged as themes (Mackieson et al., 2019). Consequently, the inductive approach toward the analysis was undertaken to formulate the key assumptions and provide the theory that would allow tying the experiences of the narrator together (Liu, 2016). In turn, a cross-sectional case study with the information derived from an interview has provided enough evidence for the thematic analysis of the obtained data.


Harry Bhadeshia is the main research participant, who was interviewed about his life and experience. Harshad “Harry” Kumar Dharamshi Hansraj Bhadeshia has been known as a member of Tata and an expert in metallurgy. The interviewee has provided a valuable insight into the experiences of an immigrant, who is striving to define the extent of his abilities in learning and building skills. Including the skill of research and academic inquiry. At the age of 66, Bhadeshia remains an active participant in the research community and has contributed extensively with his study of solid-state transformations observed in certain metals. The participant’s insight into the professional and personal transformations can be considered insightful and extremely useful to aspiring learners.


In the course of the research, an interview with several questions that allowed guiding the interviewee in his biographic narrative was used.


The data collection process was approached with the help of the semi-structured interview. Namely, the participant was provided with a couple of questions that guided his narration about his life and the key milestones in it. Specifically, the interview question focused on the transformations that Bhadeshia witnessed while being on his journey from a learner to a scholar (Fritz and Vandermause, 2018).

Ethical considerations

Before starting the data collection process, the interviewer obtained informed consent to be interviewed from Bhadeshia. The specified stage was crucial since it implied not only respecting the boundaries and rights of the participant but also complying with the existing ethical and legal standards for personal information disclosure (Chiumento et al., 2018).


Assessing the experience of working on this study, one must mention the fact that the coding process is quite difficult to perform, mainly due to the presence of multiple themes. Identifying the ones that were most prominent and including them in the evaluation, analysis, and discussion was quite a challenge. In addition, the use of an interview as a primary source of evidence implied dealing with certain research biases (Mckenzie et al., 2017). Namely, the threat of a subjective interpretation of some of the data was one of the key concerns that had to be addressed.


To explore the themes that occur in Bhadeshia’s speech, one will need a coding system with a focus on the assessment of changes occurring in the narrator’s life. Specifically, the codes will be assigned to the words and ideas that appear to be recurrent in Bhadeshia’s interview. Thus, the common themes will be identified and isolated from the bulk of the narrative to be analysed further. Developing the coding framework, one will have to keep in mind that the interview tackles the issue of Bhadeshia’s source of scientific curiosity, inspiration, and the factors that spurred his development as a learner and a scientist (Woods et al., 2016). Moreover, the interview attempts at grasping the entire life of the scholar, making sense of the changes that have occurred in it and defining the factors that have prompted a massive change in it. In this context, the first code to be introduced into the analysis of the information provided by Bhadeshia’ is the one of “change.”

Similarly, it is also important to focus on the factors that have affected Bhadeshia’s determination to become a scientist and to explore career opportunities in the world of science, in general. Specifically, the experience of him delving into the learning of chemistry, physics, and mathematics mentioned at a comparatively early point in his biography indicates that he was determined to create a profound and solid foundation for building his career as a researcher and a scientist (Kerawalla, 2014). Therefore, while not representing a major turn in his life, the specified change also marked the evolution of the narrator as he realigned his goals and focused on working toward success.

Another essential issue that needs to be tackled in the course of the analysis is whether Bhadeshia’s cultural legacy has affected his determination and ability to learn, as well as the overall process of adjusting to life in an entirely different country. Specifically, the information that Bhadeshia mentions about Kenya is worth bringing up as one of the key experiences that must have formed the foundation of his scientific curiosity and enthusiasm (Yang, 2019). Indeed, as the evidence provided by the narrator shows, despite the hardships that he and his family had to suffer in Kenya after their life in India, the narrator’s resilience allowed him not only to survive in the specified environment but also thrive as a learner. While watching his father work, Bhadeshia explored the multiple facets of production and the process of creating products, thus delving into the scientific side of it. Therefore, the cultural issues deserve a code of their own, namely, “acculturation” (Aguinis and Solarino, 2019).

“Experience” is another crucial code that will allow mapping Bhadeshia’s experience and locating the transitional moments in his life. The scientist emphasises the importance of experience throughout his entire narrative, mentioning the role that him observing his father work has had on his development and addressing the lack of experience that impeded his later success at the British Oxygen Company. The theme of experience is a critical concept that appears to be the core of Bhadeshia’s narrative, particularly, the parts of it that include the transitional stages of Bhadeshia’s life (Vera‐Toscano et al., 2017). Specifically, the part in which the scientist talks about his experience as an immigrant from India to Kenya, and the role that his visits to his father’s workshop had on him, deserves a mentioning. By observing the intricate process of separate elements being combined intricately to become finished products, namely, viewing the stages of the production of batteries, Bhadeshia must have developed the scientific curiosity and the willingness to explore the nature of phenomena and objects that he would carry into his adulthood and that would define the choice of his career in science.

In connection to the previous theme, the issue of communication deserves to be evaluated as another theme that appears to be recurrent in Bhadeshia’s narrative. It is quite curious that, unlike the rest of the themes, which mostly lie on the surface in Bhadeshia’s narrative, the one of communication seems to be implicit since it is rarely mentioned directly. However, despite the lack of representation in the text as a phenomenon, it seems to be ubiquitous as a theme. Starting with Bhadeshia’s communication with his father to the point in his life where the human resource manager gave him the crucial advice of part time studying, communication appears to be the leitmotif of Bhadeshia’s story.

“Studying” is the next theme that is worthy of detailed analysis as the one that happens to be mentioned very frequently in Bhadeshia’s story. Exploring the narrative closer, one will realise that the concept of studying can be seen in nearly every sentence (Gbadamosi, 2018). Bhadeshia had to study important social skills while his family moved from one place to another. Them, he needed to learn while watching his father work. Afterwards, he had to utilise his studying abilities to enrol into an academic institution. Finally, his studying process has led him to the opportunity to gain the skills needed to take him where he is now, namely, an important academic position. Moreover, the specified process has affected his entire philosophy, determining his approach toward his personal and professional development, as the interview indicates (Moodie, 2016). Therefore, the incorporation of the specified code appears to be central to the analysis of the discourse in question.

However, by far the most important theme besides the cultural identity one is the issue of compassion and empathy. As the interviewee mentioned, the piece of advice that the HR person gave to him was the pivoting point in his life that changed the direction in which he worked. Therefore, the idea of collaboration through mutual understanding and sympathy for the challenges that people from disadvantaged backgrounds experience appears to be central in the interview (Mittelmeier et al., 2018).


As the results of the analysis performed above show, several crucial themes associated with the personal and professional transformation of the narrator have been identified in the course of the assessment. Specifically, the themes of change, acculturation, cultural legacy, experience, communication, and studying have been proven to be the foundational points of the author’s decision to transition to a new manner of managing his life and particularly navigating his academic progress. The theme of cultural legacy seems to be particularly poignant in the evaluation of the factors that have contributed to the narrator’s transition from one way of viewing his academic and personal progress to another, namely, that one of the continuous, lifelong learning (Arthur and Crossley, 2017). The role that culture has played in Bhadeshia’s professional development and especially the transitioning moments in his life seems to be particularly large. Specifically, the focus on hard work and the importance of education, which seems to have been engraved into Bhadeshia’s culture and upbringing has contributed to his further progress, according to the interview (Marta-Lazo et al., 2919). Moreover, the thematic analysis performed above indicates that the cultural changes that the author has experienced while moving from one place to another have affected his understanding of the world around him (Castleberry and Nolen, 2018).

Therefore, it would not be an understatement to claim that the role of cultural factors in Bhadeshia’s transitioning moments was huge. Specifically, the ability to acculturate to a new environment, at the same time retaining the crucial components of his own culture and building upon them has served as the foundation for his professional and personal philosophy, namely, the continuous acquisition of knowledge. Indeed, studies show that the integration of the principles of culture fusion contributes to the promotion of cross-cultural dialogue and the experience of knowledge sharing (Lehtomäki et al., 2016). Thus, one creates premises for the effective exchange of valuable information and the development of insights that would have been impossible without unique standpoints that the representatives of different cultures could provide.


By exploring the effects that his visits to his father’s workplace had on him as a child and the transformational role that the specified experiences had on him, Bhadeshia makes a crucial statement about the role of learning and the importance of inspiration, sociocultural factors, and technological influences on an individual’s willingness to learn and achieve impressive results in their life. The path to greatness is unique for each individual, yet Bhadeshia’s narrative points to the fact that the presence of a strong impetus, which comes in the form of childhood inspirations and the willingness to attain a greater social status, serve as the essential transitional moments.

Overall, the story about Bhadeshia’s transitional moments in his life proves the importance of cross-cultural communication and the active sharing of knowledge and skills between the representatives of different cultures. Moreover, the story of Bhadeshia represents an example of the traditional narrative of success that is typically represented as what one can achieve when armed only with enthusiasm and having a very limited amount of resources. Indeed, the life journey of the interviewer can be seen as the result of the constant fight against the odds that he would come across on his way to the academic accomplishment.


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Appendix A: Codes

Code Excerpt Condensed meaning
Change “Then after independence, the Kenyan government decided that it would have a Kenyanisation policy and therefore those people who are not citizens of Kenya would steadily lose their jobs” Acceptance of the need to transition to a new way of thinking, behaving, and communicating with others
Cultural specifics “I was born in Nairobi, which is the capital of Kenya, and my parents were born in India, but they emigrated to Kenya for work” Unique aspects of one’s cultural background that define how an individual sees the world around them
Acculturation “And the Kenyan authorities needed such people in order to do construction of buildings, hotels, etc., so they encouraged people to emigrate from India to Kenya, and that’s when my parents moved in, very young and newly married” The process of accepting the views and traditions of the community into which one moves (mainly, as a result of immigration)
Cultural accommodation See above The process of learning to coexist with the representatives of a different culture in a new environment
Cross-cultural dialogue “So, it was in that environment, when a person who is white comes to help you, that’s actually quite – gives you confidence in human beings, basically.” A coherent conversation between the representatives of different cultures attempting at sharing knowledge, exploring an issue, discussing a problem, or performing any other kind of information management
Experience “And my interest in science was inspired actually by going to my father’s workplace. He used to work in a battery shop basically, Exide Batteries” The knowledge of a certain issue accumulated with the help of constant and consistent practice over a certain time period
Studying “I could do ordinary national sciences, a certificate in ordinary national sciences, and I did chemistry, physics and maths. And I did very well in that.” The process of gaining new knowledge and skills by considering the existing academic literature and research
Empathy “So, they would give me time off for a day to attend the East Ham College of Technology so that I could do ordinary national sciences, a certificate in ordinary national sciences, and I did chemistry, physics and maths. And I did very well in that. ” The feeling of compassion that allows people to reach understanding and collaborate toward a common goal, as well as a powerful source of inspiration

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PsychologyWriting. "Psychology. Harry Bhadeshia's Transitional Moments in Life." February 3, 2022.