AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 765

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Session 765: Educational Migrants and Returnees in and from East and Southeast Asia (2)(Session 2 on tertiary students)

Organizer and Chair: Adrienne Lo, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA

Discussants: Jean Charles Lagree, Independent Scholar, China; Sandra Ma, National Chengchi University, Taiwan (R.O.C.); Ravinder Sidhu, University of Queensland, Australia; Ando Satoru, University of Tokyo, Japan; Kong Chong Ho, National University of Singapore, Singapore

As a “cross-border” panel that involves scholars from anthropology, sociology, geography, psychology and educational studies, as well as cases of migrant flows within, across and from East and Southeast Asia, this panel aims to develop critical accounts of educational migration in these regions. In doing so, the proposed panel will pay closer attention to the multifaceted trajectories and migrant experiences of students and their families, which intersect with diverse dimensions of social life, such as the family, gender, social class and ethnicity, as embedded in the more macro-level economic and political conditions of the region and globalization. In particular, the panel will explore diverse aspects of educational migration at different school levels and the life stages of primary, secondary and tertiary students, including returnees who have experienced educational migration, while presenting various case studies from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. More specifically, this panel aims to address the following questions: how can we understand these new flows of migrants who migrate for education in Asian contexts? What are the motivations and meanings behind their choice of Asian countries over other ‘conventional’ Western destination countries? What kinds of strategies do the families adopt in order to facilitate their children’s educational success? What do educational migrants aspire to achieve through their educational migration? What are the lived experiences of these young sojourners and their accompanying families? What do they experience when they return home after their overseas education? This panel (two sessions) is co-organized and co-chaired by Yoonhee Kang (Division of Sociology, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) and Jeehun Kim (Institute for East Asian Studies, Sogang University, Korea).

The Moral Worth of Social Capital: Early Study Abroad Returnees in Seoul
Jenna Hyojin Chi Kim, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA

This presentation examines the experiences of young adults in their twenties who returned to Seoul after participating in “early study abroad” (chogi yuhak) in the 90s. At the time they left South Korea, their plans to stay abroad for up to a decade seemed liked sound strategies of capital accumulation (Ong 1999). However, upon their return, they found that the capital they had worked so long to acquire was not as valuable as they had hoped, in part, because South Korea had itself become more globalized (S. Kim 2000) as going abroad had become more commonplace (Abelmann et al, forthcoming). Their capital was also compromised, however, with the moral stigma of being a “returnee,” a category which was glamorized in the media, yet often linked to suspicions of laziness, promiscuity, and degeneracy. We discuss how the kinds of moral suspicions that attached themselves to such returnees were sharply gendered, linked to longstanding views of émigrés as traitors to the nation (N. Kim 2008, Schmid 2002) and to ideas that “escapees” had used their wealth to circumvent the demanding yet redemptive rites of passage associated with student life. We examine how returnees attempted to circumvent such suspicions by presenting themselves as highly moral figures and how the very display of capital acquired abroad was a delicate endeavor in the context of beliefs about politeness, hierarchy, and authenticity. This paper is co-authored with the following authors: Adrienne Lo University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Anthropology Assistant Professor Jenna Chi Kim University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Educational Psychology PhD candidate

Globalization and International Student Mobilities in East Asia
Mayumi Ishikawa, Osaka University, Japan

Universities in East Asia have responded to globalization by developing programmes that allow its students to gain international experience through study abroad programmes and by increasing its intake of foreign students. The philosophy behind these programmes is based on the thinking that some exposure to foreign lands and foreign studies will increase the intercultural skills and knowledge of students, qualities that will facilitate increasingly common work settings in transnational companies which employ and deploy multinational work teams in different countries. Governments have also recognised the link between higher education and economic development and have developed specific policies to attract talented manpower through higher education programmes. Japan’s imperative to re-assert its universities into global rankings and scholarly circuits has catalysed a series of internationalization policies and programmes. Taiwan’s universities have contributed to several decades of impressive state-driven industrial strategies,. Taiwanese universities are grappling with the task of re-defining new roles for themselves centred on national self-determination. . Singapore is seeking to capitalise on its English-speaking colonial heritage, quality public education system and the flow-ons from its investment in the Global Schoolhouse policy, which was aimed at increasing its global prominence as an education hub. Singapore’s national projects of hub development and talent migration place new responsibilities on its universities to mediate the tensions between meeting public good and private good goals. These educational initiatives have in turn reshaped the market for university students. Our paper seeks to show how these changes in higher education policies have in turn unleashed a new migratory trend in international students within East Asia. Using comparable datasets from Japan, Taiwan and Singapore, we profile student motivations for study in these three countries and discuss the implications of such flows. This paper is co-authored with the following authors: Mayumi Ishikawa (ishikawa@hpc.cmc.osaka-u.ac.jp); School of Human Sciences OSAKA UNIVERSITY 1-1 Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 Japan J Ch Lagree (jch.lagree@gmail.com); Dr Jean Charles Lagree CNRS Office SASS Institute of Youth Studies 622/ 7 Huai Hai road Shanghai 200020 China Sandra Ma (ahsma@nccu.edu.tw); Department of Sociology, National Chengchi University No.64,Sec.2,ZhiNan Rd., Wenshan District,Taipei City 11605,R.O.C (Taiwan) Ravinder Sidhu (r.sidhu@uq.edu.au); University of Queensland School of Education Building 1 11 Salisbury Road Ipswich Qld 4305 Australia Ando Satoru (andosatoru@hotmail.com) Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan

The Moral Worth of Social Capital: Early Study Abroad Returnees in Seoul
Adrienne Lo, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA

This presentation examines the experiences of young adults in their twenties who returned to Seoul after participating in “early study abroad” (chogi yuhak) in the 90s. At the time they left South Korea, their plans to stay abroad for up to a decade seemed liked sound strategies of capital accumulation (Ong 1999). However, upon their return, they found that the capital they had worked so long to acquire was not as valuable as they had hoped, in part, because South Korea had itself become more globalized (S. Kim 2000) as going abroad had become more commonplace (Abelmann et al, forthcoming). Their capital was also compromised, however, with the moral stigma of being a “returnee,” a category which was glamorized in the media, yet often linked to suspicions of laziness, promiscuity, and degeneracy. We discuss how the kinds of moral suspicions that attached themselves to such returnees were sharply gendered, linked to longstanding views of émigrés as traitors to the nation (N. Kim 2008, Schmid 2002) and to ideas that “escapees” had used their wealth to circumvent the demanding yet redemptive rites of passage associated with student life. We examine how returnees attempted to circumvent such suspicions by presenting themselves as highly moral figures and how the very display of capital acquired abroad was a delicate endeavor in the context of beliefs about politeness, hierarchy, and authenticity.