Call | Outward and upward mobilities: International students, their families, and structuring institutions

Call for papers for an edited collection Outward and upward mobilities: International students, their families, and structuring institutions (Working title of edited book, July 2014)

Editors: Ann H. Kim, Sociology, and Min-Jung Kwak, Geography, York University

Education has long been the route to social mobility, and educational qualifications persist as a legitimized marker of social class. What is shifting, however, is the spatial field in which such class markers are acquired. In the last several decades, we have observed the increasingly international and transnational character of education and the intensifying global competition for international students. Given the growing interconnectivity of places and people, international education has now become the symbol of distinction and cosmopolitanism in many countries as well as being a route to permanent residence abroad. Canada is not exempt from this phenomenon, particularly as a receiving country.

Since 2005, entries of foreign students have risen 65 percent and in 2013, there were nearly 300,000 students with visas in Canada (this figure omits non-visa students in short-term programs). The growth in the student population is consistent with Canada’s intensifying efforts to attract international students to meet stated economic goals. In 2008, the Canadian government, through a joint effort between the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Council of Ministers of Education Canada, launched an international marketing campaign using the brand, “Imagine Education au/in Canada,” and in 2013, the federal government committed $10 million over two years for international marketing activities. Such investments in the recruitment of students from abroad and the rising numbers of students justify increasing research attention on this important group and on the institutions that structure and are also structured by the people and the industry.

This edited book will showcase studies that examine Canada’s international student industry and the experiences of international students and education migrants within it. We define international students broadly, and consider students at all levels along with their families, host communities, institutions and governments. We invite contributions that explain individual and familial motivations, experiences, and future plans as well as papers that address how social and spatial mobilities shape and are shaped by policies and practices, local communities and businesses, educational institutions, and migration agents and brokers. We understand that student mobility is important to study from the perspective of the individuals and migrant groups that engage in this practice and that it is also important to go beyond the micro perspective to approaches that consider Canada’s social development and nation-building goals. Papers that take up themes related to transnationalism and diaspora, race, gender, citizenship, cosmopolitanism, region, global inequality, neo-colonialism, and others, are also welcome. Very few collections explore the experiences of students from abroad and their families, and bring together research from multiple disciplinary angles; this volume will be the first to do so with a focus on the Canadian experience.

Please send abstracts (200 words) with title and author name(s) and affiliation(s) for review to by 25 August 2014. Full chapters must be received by 8 December 2014.