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Framing of culture and mobility: using the capital concept as a tool of analysis when studying mobile scientists and gender
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2011 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent studies of mobility and global migration of knowledge workers, the use of Bourdieu’s concept of capital - cultural, social, and economic - is widely referred to. Individuals or groups on the move are important subjects of analysis when studying how values, identities and knowledge are transferred through different national and global contexts. The data is collected from ethnographic fieldwork with deep interviews and following observations among plant scientists in Sweden. The aim with my paper is to discuss symbolic capital in relation to transnational scientists. I will analyze how my informants navigate between on one hand a national identity and on the other, their identity as scientists. Identity work among the scientists operates on both individual and institutional basis. In current Swedish debate on research policy, internationalization among scientists is defined as a crucial activity and an important step when pursuing their career. In  order to develop their scientific skills, the scientists navigate between on one hand the scientific culture with its values and system of merits. On the other, the scientists are highly affected by their private life, with eventual family and partner. Both the 12 professional and the private context offer assets important to their ability to move between the research sites e.g. their academic/cultural and social capital, together fused into symbolic assets. Besides discussing how the scientist’s assets are to be understood in relation to the capital concepts, I wish to problematize pros and cons of using the capital concepts. Are they useful tools of analysis, or do they create a line of predictable arguments?

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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-48398OAI: diva2:448976
Class, Culture & Symbolic Power Conference, Freiburg Oct. 7-8 2011
Available from: 2011-10-19 Created: 2011-10-19 Last updated: 2011-12-09Bibliographically approved

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Pettersson, Helena
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Department of culture and media studies

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