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Educational mobility and the gendered geography of cultural capital: the case of international student flows between Central Asia and the UK

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journal contribution
posted on 10.12.2013, 11:01 authored by Sarah HollowaySarah Holloway, Sarah L. O'Hara, Helena Pimlott-WilsonHelena Pimlott-Wilson
International student mobility from East to West has grown rapidly as the middle classes have sought to reproduce their advantage in the context of changing socioeconomic circumstances. Existing research shows that middle-class students and their parents are increasingly using overseas educational qualifications — an institutionalised form of cultural capital — to ensure that they stand out in the competition for lucrative employment. This paper makes two unique contributions to these debates. Firstly, it broadens the spatial frame away from East Asia to the emerging educational markets in post-Soviet Central Asia, and specifically Kazakhstan. This shift allows examination of similarities in students’ accrual of cultural capital between regions, but also highlights spatial specificity in these flows. Secondly, it moves beyond narrowly class-based approaches to spotlight the importance of gender, sexuality, and religion in geographies of cultural capital. Middle-class social reproduction helps drive international student mobility, but class is experienced diff erently by young men and women in the context of locally specific forms of heterosexuality which in this case study reflect the cultural importance of Islam. Class matters, but to fully understand its importance in student mobility we must trace its intersections with other axes of social difference.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Citation

HOLLOWAY, S.L., O'HARA, S.L. and PIMLOTT, H., 2012. Educational mobility and the gendered geography of cultural capital: the case of international student flows between Central Asia and the UK. Environment and Planning A, 44 (9), pp. 2278-2294.

Publisher

© Pion and its Licensors

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2012

Notes

The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/a44655

ISSN

0308-518X

Language

en