Association pour l’anthropologie du changement social et du développement
Association for the anthropology of social change and development

Transcultural and Cross-Border Practices of knowledge circulation in academic mobility context

Auteur(s) : Schmitz Anett ;

In the global competition over the migration of talent (Ette & Sauer, 2010, p. 22; Jöns 2009; Kim 2009), academic mobility has increased worldwide. The higher education programmes of the European Union set more than 250,000 people on the move each year (DAAD, 2014). Knowledge circulation has already become a buzzword in the scientific debate on the migration of academics (Jöns, 2009). The research agenda is increasingly dominated by topics such as transcultural and transnational experiences of teaching and learning practices, intercultural opening, diversity and the internationalisation of universities (Hahn, 2004; Karakaşoğlu, 2012), cross-border lifestyles and networks (Schmitz, 2013a, 2013b, 2015, 2017), multilingualism and hybridity (Hu, 2016, pp. 257-269).

This paper focuses on the circulation of knowledge through academic mobility in the Global South. Knowledge is understood as academic as well as mobility knowledge. Both types of knowledge provide important and necessary competences facilitating mobile action and to be mobile (capacity to act; Stehr, 2012, p. 1237). This type of knowledge is used by students or academics in various socio-cultural situations as a concept to support individual (mobile) career paths and to network in a transnational context. The dynamic interaction in these networks contributes to the circulation of transcultural phenomena and cross-border experiences between different (geographical) locations (Schmitz/Schönhuth 2019). In particular, I will examine the question of what kind of transcultural knowledge can be generated in this mobility context and how this knowledge can be circulated between different localities. How can it be exchanged as “network capital” (Urry, 2007) between the network members and how can the gained transcultural knowledge be used as cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1983) by the actors to shape their own career opportunities in the country of origin.


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