Ulrike Deppe

Transnationales Kapital? Zur biografischen Bedeutung schulischer Auslandsaufenthalte im Rückblick ehemaliger Internatsschülerinnen und -schüler

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART104497

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Abstract

The fact that high numbers of boarding school students participate in foreign mobility in the form of exchanges, school visits to foreign boarding schools, internships and semesters abroad up to the point of studying and working abroad is not surprising against the background of their often middle to high and sometimes very high social background. On the basis of a qualitative analysis of the sample of approximately 30-year-old graduates of both state and private German boarding schools, the contribution ties in with the idea of supplementing theoretical approaches to transnational capital with the use of biographical-analytical methods in order to understand the construction process of transnational capital and habitus. The article delves into the question of the biographical meanings of school stays abroad for the reproduction of social inequality, the accumulation of transnational capital for the alumni, and how the alumni understand their experiences within their life history. The results reveal that the experience of schooling abroad may differ significantly from the strategic meaning of acquired transnational capital. Overall, the results show that transnational capital is not automatically acquired through stays abroad and that its use depends on the class-specific strategies of habitus and on the further life course.