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Educated to be global: Transnational horizons of middle class students in Kerala, India
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2017 (English)In: Environment and planning A, ISSN 0308-518X, E-ISSN 1472-3409, Vol. 49, no 9, 2099-2115 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The growing young middle class in India is often portrayed as encompassing a 'global sensitivity'. International mobility is one strategy for middle class families to gain a positional advantage on a competitive labour market. Negotiating place attachment and global horizons may create a range of possibilities often attached to discourses of individualization and self-realization. This paper analyses young people's dispositions towards mobility in the transition from education to work by drawing on Bourdieu's central concepts of symbolic capital and habitus. Interviews with students in higher secondary school in Kerala's state capital Thiruvananthapuram, southwest India, covered broad themes like future expectations, skills and knowledge, everyday whereabouts and family life which were discussed in relation to a perceived activity space. I argue that young people's future aspirations are shaped in a profound way by the history of Kerala's in and out migration, and draw attention to differences within the middle class where transnational capital distinguishes rather than unifies 'Indian youth'. Furthermore, this paper unpacks the complex, variegated images of different cities, countries and regions as symbols of cultural or economic capital in Malayali students' expectations of their future education and employment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 49, no 9, 2099-2115 p.
Keyword [en]
Transnational capital, dispositions, mobility, young people, Kerala
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-333751DOI: 10.1177/0308518X17718372ISI: 000407469400010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-333751DiVA: diva2:1157787
Available from: 2017-11-16 Created: 2017-11-16 Last updated: 2018-01-12

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Forsberg, Sara

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