How Do the Partners of International Students Adapt and Contribute to Their Receiving Communities. A Sociological Study of a University Town

Author: Grindel, Elisabeth
Year:2015
Pages:376
ISBN:0-7734-3511-5
978-0-7734-3511-7
Price:239.95
The first study to examine the experiences of partners of international postgraduate students in the European context. A significant contribution to the current gap in literature on the subject aiding in our understanding of the trends involving international student migration from the point of view of those involved.

Reviews

“Elisabeth Grindel has written a landmark book on partners and spouses of international students and their complex circumstances in England. In this book, Grindel situates the literature and her data squarely in transnational families and network support. In doing so, she crafts a compelling case for an invisible but important population; one that is highly skilled but difficult to categorize as simply ‘privileged transmigrants.’ Nor are they family expats who stay for longer periods and engage in volunteer work in the reception country --- England. Instead Grindel calls them, ‘temporary’ migrants because of their short-term settlement in a small town with a lack of opportunities. They are in a type of no-where zone, a ‘transnational bubble’ as Grindel describes – valuable in so much as their partners’ support system and liaisons to their families abroad – watching their local worlds rather than being able to participate. Many of them lived in dormitories on campus, isolated from the town itself and were unemployed. They also experienced a high amount of instability in these bubbles, with their psychological and social well-being at risk of imploding at any moment. Focusing on social supports amongst immigrants, Grindel finds that this is a contradictory resource for them. Her participants were engaged in a type of ‘cruel optimism’ for despite being distressed by their situations, they predicted better futures, focusing for example, exclusively on their children as foremost in their ‘new jobs’. They created intimate domestic spaces that were not just livable but preserved their traditions through mealtimes and cooking. As an ethnographic insider/outsider, Grindell plunges the reader into new territory exposing both her own positionality and the secret worlds of her participants.”
-Professor Sondra Cuban,
CCE Director,
Western Washington University


“A landmark book on partners and spouses of international students and their complex circumstances…the literature and data is significant and incisive in terms of transnational families and network support. This invisible but important population is brought to life.”
-Dr. Glen Reynolds,
University of Sunderland, UK


“The merits of the book are manifold, deriving mainly from a detailed and insightful description and analysis of a case study interesting in its unique characteristics…. that of a peripheral university city in a peripheral area of England, adds to the way in which the manuscript fills a gap in the literature by considering a group of migrants, the partners of international students, rarely studied before and providing the first study in the European context.”
Dr. Fausto Barlocco

“This book takes a survey of migration studies and identifies a gap in the context of important transformations in the internationalized tertiary education sector. It builds on previous research to develop novel concepts that can help scholars to understand the experiences of a cohort of previously relatively ignored migrants. These experiences are seen to be largely determined by their unusual status: privileged but often unemployed, with high cultural and language capital but little economic capital, voluntarily ‘out of place’ but in a transnational bubble, dealing with these contradictions through cruel optimism and an investment in a domestic sphere of diasporic intimacy and virtual connections. It will enlighten students of education policy or migration studies, with additional interests for those interested in the range of theoretical approaches that it draws on: feminism and gender studies, diaspora studies, material culture, social practices, intersectionality, mobility studies and traditional sociology.”
-Dr. Noel F Cass, Senior Research Associate,
Department of Organisation, Work & Technology,
Lancaster University


Table of Contents

List of Figures/List of Tables/Abstract
Foreword by Sondra Cuban
Acknowledgements/Introduction
Partners of International Students:
Privileged Transnational Migrants?
Book Structure
1. THEORISING MIGRATING PARTNERS
Transnational Families and Network Support
Spouses of Corporate Expatriates
Spouses of International Students in North America
Conclusion: Life in a Transnational Bubble
2. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MIGRATION TO THE UK
Internationalisation and the Europeanisation of Higher Education:
The Bologna process
Conclusion: The Changing Image of an International Student
3. METHODOLOGY, SETTING AND SAMPLE
Introducing Methodology and Methods
Introducing the Sample
Limitations of Data Collection
4. EXPERIENCES IN THE LOCAL LABOUR MARKET
Seeking to Enter the Local Labour Market
Deskilling: A Way Out of Unemployment?
Spatial Mobility: A Way Out of Unemployment?
Conclusion: Disappointment or Cruel Optimism?
5. HOME IN A TRANSNATIONAL CONTEXT
Homemaking and Diasporic Intimacy
Emotional Domestic labour: The Creation of the Taste of Home
Conclusion: Home as an Intimate Diasporic Space
6. KIN AND FRIENDSHIP NETWORKS
Friendship: New Relations in Lancaster
‘Keeping in Touch’: Relations with Transnational Kin Networks
Conclusion: Network Support on Different Scales
7. FEELING IN OR OUT OF PLACE
‘What’s class got to do with it?” – Brendan
‘Just a visitor’ – Cecilia
‘Fear of Islamophobia’ – Ali
Conclusion: Familiar and Stranger ‘Space Invaders’
8. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE RESEARCH
Migrating Partners and the Transnational Bubble
Cruel Optimism and the Intimate Diasporic Space
Immobilised Mobiles and Privilege
Partners of International Students in a Changing Higher Education System
Bibliography
Index
List of Figures
List of tables