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International Education in Canada: The Construction of a “New” Professionalism

Abstract: Higher education institutions everywhere are subject to global trends, such as the growing commodification and commercialization of knowledge, which are pulling universities closer to the market (Altbach, 2001). Rationales for the internationalization of higher education, consistent with neo-liberalism, increasingly emphasize the importance of developing human capital and income generation through study and life abroad. Exploring this entrepreneurial turn, my research revealed that international education shows signs of developing a professionalized workforce. Through the use of various theoretical frameworks, including institutional ethnography, a Foucauldian focus on discourse and anti-colonial theoretical perspectives, I disclose how the managerial-driven discourse of professionalism of international educators facilitates control “at a distance” (Fournier, 1999) and prioritizes organizational interests over their everyday/night experiences. At the same time, by conceptualizing professionalization as a site of struggle (Tobias, 2003), I describe ways in which these “ruling relations” may be subverted and how an alternative professionalization strategy may be pursued by international educators in their efforts to advocate for social justice in international education.

Author: Heather Kelly

Source: University of Toronto - TSpace

Size: 1.25 MB
Last Updated: July 31, 2015