Between a ‘student abroad’ and ‘being from Latvia’: inequalities of access, prestige, and foreign-earned cultural capital

Lulle, Aija and Buzinska, Laura (2017) Between a ‘student abroad’ and ‘being from Latvia’: inequalities of access, prestige, and foreign-earned cultural capital. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43 (8). pp. 1362-1378. ISSN 1369-183X

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Abstract

This paper visualises tertiary-level students who study abroad as simultaneously both international students and members of an emerging diaspora. Coming from a country (Latvia) which is peripheral and relatively poor by European standards, students go abroad for multiple reasons not necessarily directly connected with study (e.g. family reasons, labour migration); yet their evolving diasporic status is instrumentalised by the Latvian government which wants them to return and contribute to the country’s development. Based on 27 in-depth interviews with Latvian students and graduates who have studied abroad, our analysis focuses on three interlinked dimensions of inequality: access to education at home and abroad; the varying prestige of higher education qualifications from different countries and universities; and the inequalities involved in getting recognition of the symbolic and cultural capital that derives from a non-Latvian university. Within a setting of neoliberal globalisation and conflicting messages from the homeland, students and graduates are faced with a challenging dilemma: how to balance their materialistic desire for a decent job and career with their patriotic duty to return to Latvia.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2017 12:33
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2017 21:58
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/67336

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