(Re)Considering “precarious privilege” within international schooling: Expatriate teachers’ perceptions in China of being marginalised and undervalued

Tristan BUNNELL, Adam POOLE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The number of schools delivering a curriculum in English outside an English-speaking nation is growing both in scale and importance, reaching 12,000 by 2021. Such schools are traditionally staffed by expatriate teachers and mainly from Britain and North America. In recent years, a newer arena of commercially driven “non-traditional” international schools serving mainly local parents has emerged. We report on the reality of being an expatriate teacher in a remote part of China where they are numerically a minority grouping within the school. Through interviews with four teachers, we will begin to further investigate and (re)consider the notion of “precarious privilege”. The expatriate teachers felt they enjoy status for their “whiteness” or “ethnic capital” yet perceived themselves to be professionally marginalised and undervalued. A challenging thesis emerges that this minority grouping potentially represents a pragmatic opportunity for the “non-traditional” school to assert its legitimacy, as an “international” or “internationalised” institution. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Studies
Early online dateMar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2022

Citation

Bunnell, T., & Poole, A. (2022). (Re)Considering “precarious privilege” within international schooling: Expatriate teachers’ perceptions in China of being marginalised and undervalued. Educational Studies. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/03055698.2022.2054270

Keywords

  • International schools
  • China
  • Precarity
  • Expatriate teachers
  • Cultural capital

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