CIRE - Global Academic Capitalism, Transnational Knowledge Capital and Stratification

24 November 2015, 12.00 PM - 24 November 2015, 1.15 PM

Dr. Terri Kim, Reader (Comparative Higher Education), University of East London

Room 2.17, 35 Berkeley Square

Abstract: In the age of academic capitalism, transnational academic mobility has become ever more active, which can be at least partly explained by different forms of increased competition: competition between research projects and institutions, international academic staffing, policies of technological innovation, and also individual academics’ career development strategies. However, it is far from clear how they make their way within global hierarchies of academic power. The paper offers an in-depth analysis of the patterns of transnational academic mobility and knowledge production within contemporary neoliberal market-framed universities worldwide. The initial proposition is that an important way to see the processes of academic mobility as entwined with knowledge creation is through different types of knowledge as ‘capital’. In addition to Bourdieu's notions of principal forms of capital, the paper attempts to provide a new theoretical account of ‘transnational identity capital’ (Kim 2010) as embodied and travelled knowledge which is utilized by mobile academic individuals as a new border-transcending asset.  Drawing on empirical research data on mobile academics working in the US, the UK, South Korea and Hong Kong, the paper offers a critical analysis of unequal power relations which are at work in the process of forming and shaping knowledge ‘capital’ among globally mobile academics. In the world of academic capitalism, old hierarchies intersect new academic stratifications, where institutional rent-seeking, reputational struggles and the dynamics of status attainment re-position mobile academic individuals beyond the conventional boundaries and hierarchies determined by their national citizenships. The question is which type of hierarchy results from this interference.

Biography: Terri Kim is a Reader in Comparative Higher Education and the Leader of Higher Education Research Group (HERG) at UEL. After gaining her PhD from the University of London, Institute of Education, she had worked as a research consultant for OECD in Paris; a Visiting Research Scholar in International Relations at LSE in London; a Brain Korea 21 Contract Professor at Seoul National University in Korea; a Lecturer in Comparative Higher Education at Brunel University London, a Visiting Scholar at the I.E.C. Collège de France in Paris, and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Arts, Monash University, where she gave the Sixth Annual LASC Lecture in 2013. Her ongoing research is on transnational mobile academics and new forms of knowledge creation. She is Book Review Editor of Comparative Education journal and Editor of the Special Issue of Comparative Education 52 (1): Internationalisation and Development in East Asian Higher Education (forthcoming, 2016). Her CV and selected publications

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