Encounter, Interaction and the University:Producing Practices of Inclusion and Exclusion of International Students

Type Chapter
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLabouring and Learning, Geographies of Children and Young People
EditorsTatek Abebe, Johanna Waters, Tracey Skelton
PublisherSpringer Nature
Pages1-21
Volume10
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-4585-97-2
DOI
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Publication series

NameGeographies of Children and Young People
Volume10
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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to explore how social differentiation of students is produced and reproduced through sites of encounter and interaction in the university. With increased internationalization of education actively promoting greater diversity and intercultural interaction on campus, the social landscape of the university is rapidly changing, leading to new forms of social dynamics. The university is traditionally a space associated with equality and openness to difference (Andersson, J. et al., Social and Cultural Geography, 13(5), 501–515, 2012); as such, it is timely to explore the ways in which international students in a higher education institution experience intercultural interaction and how this forms a sense of belonging or not-belonging. Research on international students has revealed much of these young peoples’ experiences, particularly in regard to sociospatial segregation and racialization of students (Collins, F.L., Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 47(2), 217–234, 2006; Fincher, R., & Costello, L. Housing ethnicity: Student housing as a site of multicultural negotiation. In B. Yeoh, T. C. Kiong, & M. W. Charney (Eds.), Approaching transnationalism: Transnational societies, multicultural contacts, and imaginings of home. Boston: Kluwer, 2003; Fincher, R., & Shaw, K., Environment and Planning A, 41, 1884–1902, 2009, Geoforum, 42, 539–549, 2011). Here, the diversity of international students’ experiences are explored in an effort to extricate the complexity of young peoples’ everyday interactions with and in these spaces, and consider how these processes of interaction are mutually constitutive in the formation of sites of encounter and the production of practices of inclusion and exclusion. It is suggested that the university, while employing a rhetoric of inclusion of diversity, is experienced in a more complex and ambiguous way by the students themselves and that multiple forms of inclusion and exclusion can coexist, maintained by particular patterns of interaction in particular university spaces. As these young people transition to a new educational, social, and cultural environment, examining their experiences through the lens of social reproduction untangles the complex processes of interaction that constitute their everyday lived reality that (re)produce spaces and practices of inclusion and exclusion.

Keywords

  • encounter, social inclusion, social exclusion, University, international students, prejudice