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Transborder habitus in a within-country mobility context: A Bourdieusian analysis of mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong

Abstract

This paper contributes to the updating of Bourdieusian sociology by proposing the notion of ‘transborder habitus’, a necessary extension of ‘habitus’ in a transborder context. ‘Transborder contexts’ refer to spaces that belong politically to the same country, share a deep level of historic cultural and/or ethnic entanglement, but can be ideologically, linguistically and socially divergent. Such transborder contexts present empirical challenges that notions such as ‘habitus’ and ‘transnational habitus’ cannot adequately address. First, the national borderline delineation presumed in ‘habitus’ and ‘transnational habitus’ can no longer account for the intricate and complex within-country border diversities. Second, although dissonances between border-crossing agents’ habitus and their original field have been sparsely noted in existing empirical work, few attempts have been made to offer theoretical accounts for habitus-field dissonances along the axes of religion, ethnicity and ideology. Drawing on in-depth interview data from an ongoing longitudinal study that explores the identity trajectories of 31 mainland Chinese students at a Hong Kong university, this paper argues that ‘transborder habitus’ can effectively redress these two identified gaps and will show how it can offer a more adequate explanation in empirical contexts.

Citation

(2018). Transborder habitus in a within-country mobility context: A Bourdieusian analysis of mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong. Sociological Review, 1128-1144. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038026117732669

Acceptance Date Aug 22, 2017
Publication Date Nov 1, 2018
Journal The Sociological Review
Print ISSN 0038-0261
Publisher SAGE Publications
Pages 1128-1144
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0038026117732669
Keywords Bourdieu; Habitus; Transborder; Hong Kong; Within-country; Mainland China; Mobility
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0038026117732669

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