Applying the Sen-Bourdieu framework

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Education in the Asia-Pacific Region, 2019, 48 pp. 59 - 74
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© 2019, Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. This chapter presents a systematic application of the Sen-Bourdieu conceptual framework of normative agency to gain insights into the benefits of acquired overseas education for Vietnamese international graduates in their work and community activities when they return home. The chapter describes the case study approach and use of a mixed-method model to address the methodological gap in conducting research about international education outcomes and benefits for returnees. This mixed-method approach embraced quantitative categories of outcomes in light of qualitative conditions to achieve these outcomes and allowed for an examination of the returnees’ perception of their self-worth in terms of their accomplishment and power relations with others. The quantitative outcomes resulting from the survey will be explained by the qualitative conditions required for achieving these outcomes, which are expressed in the interviews. Bourdieu’s notion of reflexive sociology was incorporated in the interview method and subsequent analysis to engage the returnees in reasoning their values and goals reflexively of their social environment and relationships. This was a methodological attempt to soften the tension between Bourdieu’s seemingly social determinism and Sen’s view that human beings are more or less free and responsible beings in various ways.
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