Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

Migration for Education in East Asia as ‘Future Making’

Friday, July 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Jacaranda II, First Floor

Despite shifts towards broader understandings of the meanings and drivers of migration, homo oeconomicus lives on in the burgeoning literature on international education. On the one hand, the human capital approach concentrates on how studying abroad enhances labor market opportunities, on the other, the concept of cultural capital highlights status-enhancing effects. More recent research has identified shared understandings of international education as an end in itself, not merely motivated by career or status but by broader aspirations with an impact over the life course. Such a view allows for a more heterogeneous description of international flows of students. Drawing on this perspective, we consider education as a complex catalyst that engages individuals and families in future making across borders, with mobility being an aspect of trajectories with horizons of possibility at varying scales. The panel considers the intersecting future making of parents and children in migratory journeys, with a focus on East Asia, the largest source of international students. The importance of education as a nexus for actual and imagined futures is that it embeds at its core the empowered individual and the autonomous learner. The intensifying ‘culture of education’ across the globe anticipates increasingly standardized models of the agentic and ambitious individual—transmitted through scientific theories and ideologies of education—which create expectations and equip individuals with such narratives of the self. We explore processes through which this culture plays out in China and South Korea, revealing the socially-embedded character of ‘future-making’ that involves students, parents and institutional arenas.

Sophia Woodman

University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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Yasemin Soysal

University of Essex, United Kingdom

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Yasemin Soysal

University of Essex, United Kingdom

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Yamei Sun

Tsinghua University, China

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Sophia Woodman

University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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Yasemin Soysal

University of Essex, United Kingdom

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Send Email for Hector Cebolla Boado

Xiao Ma

Leiden University, Netherlands

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Hiroshi Ota

Center for Global Education, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

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