South Asian scholars in the age of globalization: international mobility as precarization
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France
While a growing number of South Asian scholars are attracted by European universities and research institutions, a pervasive process of precarization of academic labor takes place in both South Asia and Europe. But what are the connections between the discourse of international mobility and the prominence of a model of short-term contracts driving the administrative practices of academic institutions nowadays? This paper draws on an ethnographical research on South Asian social scientists who build an academic career in Europe in order to understand not only how "mobility" is signified and lived by these researchers, but also how these dynamics are related, and how these lives are tied, to globalization and neoliberalism. More precisely, I explore some narratives gathered during my fieldwork in England and Germany in order to address sociological and anthropological dimensions of life, such as professional projects, self-representation as intellectuals, senses of belonging, as well as kinship and conjugality int he construction of familiar projects. Narratives by heads of departments are also important for my analysis, as they allow us to put in perspective different vantage points of the same dynamics. Besides globalization and neoliberalism, this research takes into account historical processes, namely the traditional intellectual circulation between South Asia and Europe, but in order to decrypt the continuities and reshaping of these traditional circuits into new forms of mobility. Besides the idea of precarity, the concepts of project, as elaborated by Gilberto Velho, and politics of survival, coined by Marc Abélès, are important heuristic devices in my analysis.
From a foreign student to a worker abroad
Novi Sad Business School, Serbia
The Bologna Declaration has become a synonym for the reform of higher education. Although the mobility of students is singled out as a separate principle of this declaration, its realization is enabled by the acceptance of other principles (adoptation of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees; establishment of a system of credits – such as in the ECTS system; etc.). There should be no doubt that the coordination of curricula enables student mobility but the question is to what extent the differences in sociocultural systems, primarily with respect to the economic and political stability, condition the differences regarding the motives for becoming part of the international educational events. The question that arises is if students who stay at foreign educational institutions become familiar with the conditions of living and working in the country they would like to see as their future destination. Is studying abroad the first step towards working abroad?
These questions are answered in two empirical research studies. The first one was realized in the period 2006-2010 and the second in the period 2015-2016. The research included the first generation of sociology students who started their studies according to the reformed curriculum, the so-called Bologna. Their attitude towards the reform of higher education and going abroad has been continually followed during their studies and five years after their graduation.
The data was collected via a semi-structured interview and a biographical interview.
Key words: students, higher education, reform, migrations.
Value Orientations of Highly Educated Members of Serbian Diaspora
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Nis, Serbia
International migration of highly educated has always been a characteristic of academia, but today it is a characteristic of the modern world (Brown, 2002, Massey & Aysa, 2005, De Haas, 2008, 2010, Meyer, 2012). Specific circumstances in the Balkans in recent years additionally contributed to a large outflow of highly educated people from Serbia. While economic and political reasons of migrations are often analyzed, personal impact has only been rarely assessed. Living in extremely complex social situations, having to speak two or more languages and being adapted to living in different cultures, different political and social environments influence migrants’ value systems (Schwartz & Bilsky 1990, Schwartz 1992, 2008, Inglehart & Baker 2001, Inglehart & Wesel 2003, 2005, Benet-Martinez et al. 2002, Benet-Martinez & Haritatos 2005).
The aim of this study is firstly to identify types of value systems among the highly educated migrants from Serbia and secondly to determine which set of values enables better adaptation in the new environment. For this purpose, a questionnaire has been constructed consisting of standardized scales that measure traditional authority versus rational-legal authority, materialist values versus post-materialist values (Inglehart, 2000), individualism versus collectivism (Triandis, Gelfland, 1998), and social distance (Bogradus, 1933). Participants included 250 highly educated migrants from Serbia who responded to an online survey. The research is conducted in the framework of the Horizon 2020 project “Closing the Gap Between Formal and Informal Institutions in the Balkans” (№ 6935237).
Keywords: migration, highly-educated, value orientations