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It’s a little bit like drawing the lottery: A study of American and British expats’ educational strategies in Berlin
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study examines American and British middle class expats’ educational strategies in Berlin, Germany, from a Bourdieusian perspective. I argue that globalization and an increased mover population make it necessary to study the expat population, a social group that has been largely neglected in sociological research. The study explores the elementary school choices expats make for their children in the host country and how their educational strategies relate to the expats’ inherited and acquired cultural capital. Information was gathered through the statements of six American and British interviewees, interviews which were conducted in fall 2018. The interviewees were asked questions about their elementary school choices, their educational priorities, pastime activities and their own upbringings. The educational strategies were similar to those of specific middle class groups that, according to previous research, are characterized by high cultural capital. The interviewees in this study did however prove to be more idealistic than those specific middle class groups, and they made adjustments to their educational strategies to cater for their expatriatism. The prevalence and importance of liberal values had been passed on to the interviewees by their parents. In terms of choosing schools for their children they valued individuality, independence and cultural diversity. They also valued cosmopolitanism. The interviewed expats did not necessarily see themselves as bound to one country or nationality and they wanted the same perceived freedom for their children. They primarily chose local public schools for their children in attempts to acquire cultural capital, to ensure that their children integrated culturally and developed a fluency in German. Local public schools was the natural choice for expats with German partners, while expats with expat partners often found it difficult to decide against private international schools due to their struggles with cultural integration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Series
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för pedagogik, didaktik och utbildningsstudier
Keywords [en]
Sociology of education, reproduction strategies, school choice, expat, Berlin, Germany
Keywords [sv]
Utbildningssociologi, utbildningsstrategier, skolval, expats, Berlin, Tyskland
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-377603OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-377603DiVA, id: diva2:1291083
Subject / course
Sociology of Education
Educational program
Freestanding course
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-03-08 Created: 2019-02-22 Last updated: 2019-03-08Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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