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The Making of Transnational Distinction: An Embodied Cultural Capital Perspective on Chinese Women Students’ Mobility

Zhang, Siqi; Xu, Cora Lingling

The Making of Transnational Distinction: An Embodied Cultural Capital Perspective on Chinese Women Students’ Mobility Thumbnail


Authors

Siqi Zhang

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Dr Cora Xu lingling.xu@durham.ac.uk
Associate Professor



Abstract

Transnational distinction is highly relevant in an age when western degree inflation intersects with harsh gender expectations for Chinese women student migrants, a significant group of players in the scene of UK higher education. Drawing on participant observation and interview data and building on existing theories of cultural capital, this article explores how 25 Chinese women students constructed ‘transnational distinction’. Through investigating how newly acquired embodied cultural capital during mobility contributed to the construction of distinction, we argue such distinction is manifested through participants’ cognisance of field-specific rules. Their understanding of the complex racial/ethnic and class fabrics of the British society impelled them to be creative in constructing their distinction, particularly seeking diverse peer reference groups. This adds to the extant literature through demonstrating that purposeful comparison and connections can be made across home, host and other destinations, in the women students’ quest for transnational distinction.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 30, 2020
Online Publication Date Sep 14, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Aug 27, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 14, 2022
Journal British Journal of Sociology of Education
Print ISSN 0142-5692
Electronic ISSN 1465-3346
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 8
Pages 1251-1267
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2020.1804836
Keywords Distinction, cultural capital, field, Bourdieu, transnational mobility
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1263040
Related Public URLs https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/8433/

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