International student subjectivities: biographical investments for liquid times

Doherty, Catherine A. & Singh, Parlo (2005) International student subjectivities: biographical investments for liquid times. In AARE Education Research Conference,‘Creative Dissent: Constructive Solutions’, 27th November -1st December, 2005, University of Western Sydney, Parramatta Campus, Australia.

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The international student as an object of study has typically been understood through the frame of cultural identity, mapped back to notions of fixed, static notions of cultural difference. In contrast, this study seeks to understand how the practice of international study has emerged as an increasingly popular ‘biographical solution’ (Beck 1992, Bauman 2002) in order to pursue imagined career trajectories in a globalised and competitive world. Informed by recent studies of middle class strategy in Asia (Pinches, 1999) and the transnational Chinese diaspora (Ong 1999, Ang 2001) that challenge essentialist accounts of timeless Asian values and East-West binaries, the paper analyses interview data collected from ‘Asian’ international students attending preparatory programs at an Australian university. Specifically, the paper discusses the disciplinary formation of the ‘international student’ – the take-up of self-Orientalizing discourses (Ong, 1999), and engagement in practices of auto-ethnography (Pratt, 1998). In addition, the paper explores students’ critiques of, and resistances to Orientalist discourses, and pragmatic willingness to submit to local demands to further their longer term goals. Preparatory programs emerge not so much as life-changing locations but rather necessary transit lounges, for the acquisition of cultural distinctions along their life routes.

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ID Code: 2868
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: international education, cultural globalization, international Asian students, higher education, HERN
ISSN: 1324-9339
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Learning Sciences (130309)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Catherine Doherty and Parlo Singh
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 13 Dec 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:29

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