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ERIC Number: EJ868830
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
International Students and the Politics of Difference in US Higher Education
Lobnibe, Jane-Frances
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v7 n2 p346-368 Nov 2009
The relation between education and democracy is a difficult one. Even the wealthiest countries with highly educated populations have failed to develop educational systems that provide adequate educational experiences and opportunities for individuals within all social groups. Since the mid 1960s, higher education institutions in the US have made efforts to change the landscape of their campuses from a largely white, male middle-class terrain to one that incorporates students and staff from different ethnic, racial and gender backgrounds. Unfortunately, wide achievement gaps still exist between students of different social backgrounds at almost every stage of the educational ladder. In this paper, the author examines the policies and practices of US universities in light of the changing demographics from a social justice perspective to underscore the extent to which policies and practices of institutions work to sustain social inequalities among different groups of students. Focusing on the experiences of female international graduate students in two US higher institutions, the author argues that contemporary diversity efforts in US educational institutions emphasize a recognitional concept of equality based on the celebration of students and staff diversity without any significant reference to either social justice or the economic basis of socio-cultural differences. Drawing on the insights of social theorists like Iris Marion Young and others, the author contends that a true diversity effort requires establishing a politics that welcomes difference by dismantling and reforming structures, processes, concepts and categories that sustain difference-blind, impartial, neutral, universal politics and policies. (Contains 3 footnotes.)
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States