Accepted Papers:

Performing Educational Desires: Social Mobility and Inter-generational Dramas  

Author:

Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka (Bielefeld University)

Paper Short Abstract:

Educational aspirations make people migrate spatially and socially and in their imaginaries and politics of the self. This contribution focusses on the nexus of mobility and in/equality in the realm of higher education as well as to the affective tensions unfolding in family constellations.

Paper long abstract:

Mobility through education is among the major projects and challenges families face all around the world, today. Educational aspirations make people migrate spatially, socially as well as in the realms of imaginaries and politics of the self. They challenge in different ways the affective dynamics in inter-generational constellations. This contribution draws special attention to the nexus of mobility and in/equality in the realm of higher education as well as to the affective tensions and related processes of contested belonging that unfold within intergenerational family constellations. In analyzing family constellations as "regimes of belonging," the contribution details the different modalities inherent to belonging such as rules of commonality, including norms and emotions, and rules of reciprocity, including mutual commitment or loyalty, and how both, parents and children deal with these modalities in sometimes differing and/or opposing ways, thus triggering, in fact, inter-generational dramas. Focusing in particular on the children, who move to the universities in order to perform specific educational desires as sought by their parents, it is shown that universities may become protected realms of relatedness within which the students experience new forms of personal freedom and belonging - apart from the rules of commonality and reciprocity as envisaged by their families back home.

Panel P132
Social mobility in the neoliberal age: practices, relations, expectations, and desires