How Transnational Education Transforms Privilege
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | ONLINE ONLY (VIA ZOOM) | REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Asian/Asian American Studies
Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology
This study examines two cohorts of Chinese international students studying in the U.S. whose privilege is challenged and sometimes upended before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research questions the dominant framing of privilege centering on the notion of ease, as informed by the western scholarship on elite education. Drawing from the power structure of international education and rising geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China, this study concludes that transnational education infuses much anxiety and fragility into the lived experiences of international students, who have experienced the status loss from the privileged majority to the marginalized minority. COVID had exacerbated this loss. This study contributes to the scholarship on elites by interrogating the western-centric notion of privilege.
Professor Ma’s monograph Ambitious and Anxious: How Chinese College Students Succeed and Struggle in American Higher Education was published in 2020 by Columbia University Press. Please see the registration page for a full speaker bio and more details.
This event is part of the 2021-2022 lecture series on “COVID-19 Impacts and Responses in China and Beyond” and is co-sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.