Researching Transnationalisation and Higher Education in the Context of Social Mechanisms

Schneider, Claudia (2013) Researching Transnationalisation and Higher Education in the Context of Social Mechanisms. Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 21 (4). pp. 480-495. ISSN 1478-2790

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An increasing body of literature has begun to emerge in the context of transnationalisation, migration and higher education. This article contributes to the discussion by using a sociological lens to focus on the structure-agency link and, in particular, on the social mechanisms that explain how actors and structures interrelate and influence each other. Studies in higher education, migration and transnationalisation tend to focus on either structural or agential factors, whilst the social mechanisms linking both these factors are generally under-researched. This article aims to address this shortcoming by developing a conceptual framework for the study of both the structure-agency link and the social mechanisms that characterise transnationalisation and higher education. Theoretically, the framework is informed by Bunge's approach towards social mechanisms (M. Bunge, Emergence and Convergence: Qualitative Novelty and the Unity of Knowledge, University of Toronto Press, 2003; ‘How does it work? The search for explanatory mechanisms’, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 2004, 34(2), 182–210) in combination with Pickel's notion of social mechanisms in psychosocial systems (A. Pickel, The Problem of Order in the Global Age: Systems and Mechanisms, Palgrave, 2006). The conceptual framework is illustrated through an explorative study of social mechanisms relating to transnational students' perceptions of and interactions with educational structures and systems in their home country and in England.

Item Type: Journal Article
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2014 15:12
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:02

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