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The global imaginary of international school communities: a case study from Germany

The global imaginary of international school communities: a case study from Germany
The global imaginary of international school communities: a case study from Germany
This thesis explores the ‘global imaginary’ of an international school community located in Germany. It examines how globally-oriented social imaginaries are constructed, negotiated and contested within such gated communities comprised of both expatriates and host country nationals. It highlights the role of the international school market and the role of the ‘local’ in the production of these ‘global’ imaginaries that not only impact community membership, but also its members’ residential life in Germany.

International schools have developed into a thriving, lucrative educational network –offering an English-medium, ‘international’ education to facilitate internationally-mobile families as they move from country to country. Not only are international schools educational facilities, they are also strong ‘international’ communities comprised of both expats and host country nationals. Where international school literature is typically focused on the educational experience of expats (or ‘Third Culture Kids’) attending international schools, little has been written on the extent to which membership impacts residential life, not only for expats, but also for host country nationals. Moreover, the role of the ‘local’ in the construction of ‘global’ imaginaries and international school community membership has not been thoroughly investigated. It is argued in this thesis that while international schools place a particular emphasis on the distant local to uphold institutional globally-oriented principles and branding, the immediate local is not only eclipsed, but this overshadowing plays a role in the construction of the ‘global’ orientation.

There is also a gap in literature concerning large-scale ethnographic projects looking into international schools located in Europe – a gap which this thesis aims to fill through the use of participant observations, semi-structured interviews and focus group sessions that took place in Germany between 2012 and 2015.
University of Southampton
Meyer, Heather Anne
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Meyer, Heather Anne
0793a7ea-93a2-4ed1-a4bd-0b4f98ab99ad
Armbruster, Heidemarie
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Budach, Gabriele
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Meyer, Heather Anne (2017) The global imaginary of international school communities: a case study from Germany. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 261pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis explores the ‘global imaginary’ of an international school community located in Germany. It examines how globally-oriented social imaginaries are constructed, negotiated and contested within such gated communities comprised of both expatriates and host country nationals. It highlights the role of the international school market and the role of the ‘local’ in the production of these ‘global’ imaginaries that not only impact community membership, but also its members’ residential life in Germany.

International schools have developed into a thriving, lucrative educational network –offering an English-medium, ‘international’ education to facilitate internationally-mobile families as they move from country to country. Not only are international schools educational facilities, they are also strong ‘international’ communities comprised of both expats and host country nationals. Where international school literature is typically focused on the educational experience of expats (or ‘Third Culture Kids’) attending international schools, little has been written on the extent to which membership impacts residential life, not only for expats, but also for host country nationals. Moreover, the role of the ‘local’ in the construction of ‘global’ imaginaries and international school community membership has not been thoroughly investigated. It is argued in this thesis that while international schools place a particular emphasis on the distant local to uphold institutional globally-oriented principles and branding, the immediate local is not only eclipsed, but this overshadowing plays a role in the construction of the ‘global’ orientation.

There is also a gap in literature concerning large-scale ethnographic projects looking into international schools located in Europe – a gap which this thesis aims to fill through the use of participant observations, semi-structured interviews and focus group sessions that took place in Germany between 2012 and 2015.

Text
The Global Imaginary of International School Communities: - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 March 2020.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.

More information

Published date: March 2017
Organisations: University of Southampton, Modern Languages and Linguistics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 411276
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/411276
PURE UUID: 06afa171-8c81-4a93-9b9e-2a352ada74c0

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Jun 2017 16:32
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:05

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Contributors

Author: Heather Anne Meyer
Thesis advisor: Heidemarie Armbruster
Thesis advisor: Gabriele Budach

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