How am I supposed to feel? Female students’ emotional reasoning about academic becoming in transnational higher education

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Abstract

This article centres on female students’ reasoning about their emotional (re)actions during the process of academic becoming. It builds on an ethnographical study of students’ subjectivity processes at a jointly run Sino-Danish university in Beijing. The article draws on a theoretical framework called emotional reasoning, bridging Sara Ahmed’s notion of emotionality and Thomas Popkewitz’ rules of reasoning, to investigate the affective structuring of students’ reasoning about academic identities in transnational education. The study elucidates how students’ reasoning about their opportunities for academic transformation is connected to racialising hierarchies of gendered and aged emotional characteristics. These interlockings can be read as reflections of the unequal interlocking of power relations in a transnational educational space. The study illustrates that, within this space, the students gain differentiated affective opportunities to act, depending on whether their bodies are surfaced as white-young-female or Chinese-young-female.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGender and Education
Volume34
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)561-576
Number of pages16
ISSN0954-0253
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Emotionality
  • gender
  • racialisation
  • student subjectivities
  • transnational education

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