SOCIAL CARTOGRAPHIES OF INTERNATIONALIZATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN CANADA, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS OULUENSIS E Scientiae Rerum Socialium 170
|Kustantaja:||Oulun yliopisto|| |
|Sijainti:||Print Tietotalo|| |
|Tekijät:||SUŠA RENE|| |
This research project explores how notions of Canadian exceptionalism are being challenged and/
or reproduced in responses of students of seven Canadian universities to a survey related to
internationalization of higher education. The study analyses data from surveys (n=1451)
completed by undergraduate students in different disciplines collected between 2013 and 2015.
This data is part of a larger database of surveys that was developed within the Ethical
Internationalization in Higher Education (EIHE) research project (2012–2016).
This research adopts a mixed-methods approach to the analysis of quantitative and qualitative
data. A post-representational approach to the methodology of social cartography is used to map
two facets of the data. These facets are the general discursive field in which various exceptionalist
tendencies are being contested and/or reproduced, and the multiple dimensions of articulations of
Canadian exceptionalism is in this research understood as a complex set of self-constitutive
discursive practices, policies, self-perceptions and assumptions that simultaneously affirm and
construct an imaginary of Canadian society and Canadian nationals as morally, ethically and
culturally superior by exalting both the nationals’ and the nation-state’s inherent character as
already good global citizens. Exceptionalism is used as an umbrella term that joins together
several problematic aspects of unexamined ennobled narratives about the nation and national
subjects. In this research the concept of exceptionalism is developed by drawing on multiple
critiques of different aspects of liberal subjectivities.
The findings suggest that exceptionalist tendencies and articulations can be observed in the
responses of both international and Canadian students. They also suggest that while critical
thinking and engagement with diversity are valued highly by almost all students, the responses in
the survey exhibit a high level of ambivalence in terms of how (and to what extent) critical
thinking is deployed, while diversity is often constructed in commodified ways that seem to
indicate a desire for consumption of the Other’s difference for personal and/or national benefit.