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Title: The global imaginary of international school communities : a case study from Germany
Author: Meyer, Heather Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 1572
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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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.
Supervisor: Armbruster, Heidemarie ; Budach, Gabriele Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available