Governments, including the US and UK, tacitly encourage the emigration of postdocs and other academic workers through immigration policy that privileges universities ability to source skilled labor aboard when compared to industry. the US and UK continue as global leaders science production they increasingly rely on postdocs from abroad given domestic skill shortages (Ackers & Gill, 2005; Corey & Sabharwal, 2007). This trend can be understood critically through a world systems approach (Altbach, 2004); the contemporary global economy has further shaped academic flows with postdocs from Asia seeking postdoc positions in North America and Western Europe.In both the US and UK, strategies to attract postdocs are not met with corresponding strategies to provide employment security (Sachar, 2006; Tremblay, 2005). Universities are able to generate surplus of academic production through temporary postdoc labor without having to invest in long-term faculty hires (author, 2009). While host countries benefit from academic research produced by relatively cheap labor (compared to hiring full-time, permanent faculty) (Borjas, 2006), the international postdoc may not similarly benefit (Smith-Doerr, 2006; Stephan, 2005). International postdocs from developing countries may be particularly disadvantaged in their career trajectory if their home countries do not have the necessary equipment and labs to support their research. Academic capitalism suggests that colleges and universities across the world are becoming increasingly aligned with the market, often at the expense of the public good. According to Slaughter and Leslie (1997) and Slaughter and Rhoades (2004), entrepreneurial interests have superseded universities’ public responsibilities. Knowledge has become a commodity in the post-industrial economy. As university research productions and educational services are being developed and sold in the private marketplace, for-profit motives have increasingly dominated university functions and reshaped academic labor (Slaughter & Rhoades, 2004). As it relates to postdoctoral labor, the roles of postdocs are less as apprentices in training and more as temporary employees. The postdoctoral career trajectory then becomes the employment ends rather than an educational means towards the faculty career (author, 2009). According to academic capitalism, postdocs then become a captive market for research production that can be exploited to serve private interests.
Other than self-support (37%), RAs are the most prev- alent primary mechanism of financial support for all full- time S&E graduate students. In 2009, 27% of full-time S&E graduate students were supported primarily by RAs, 18% were supported primarily through TAs, and 12% relied pri- marily on fellowships or traineeships (table 2-4).
Foreign students earned 57% of all engineering doctorates, 54% of all computer science degrees, and 51% of physics doctoral degrees.
Unlike undocumented Mexicans, most of whom are quickly returned to their country after they are arrested, almost all non-Mexicans are charged and released in the United States if they do not have a criminal record and are not deemed a security threat. But like this day, few of the immigrants show up to face charges that they entered the country illegally.When their names are called, 98 percent of all undocumented aliens ordered to appear at Harlingen Immigration Court do not answer. They are weeks into their new lives in all corners of the United States.Patriot Act, SEVIS, SB 1070, DeportationThe no-show rate, the highest of those for all 53 immigration courts in the country, has deteriorated as undocumented, non-Mexican immigrants have been crossing the border in exponentially increasing numbers, many from known terrorist breeding grounds such as Pakistan.Nationwide, the failure-to-appear rate for fiscal 2005 stood at 36 percent on June 30, or 68,634 of the undocumented immigrants who had been arrested.
In the present study we extend neo-racism beyond the experiences of individual educational migrants to address how systems of neo-racism in part determines who has access to the goods generated by global research universities, particularly the private goods, as well as access to and authority in relation to positions associated with the production of knowledge for the public good. We argue that embedded within academic capitalism production systems, neo-racist systems act as switching devices, steering some migrants to global research universities into some markets and denying access to others. We demonstrate this point with empirical examples from a study on international students. We further argue that neo-racism sorts who is considered suitable to act as an intellectual and produce knowledge for the public good, and who is considered suitable to engage scientific knowledge work. We demonstrate this point with empirical examples from a study of international postdocs.
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Academic Sweatshops? Asian International Graduate Students in STEM fields Jenny J. Lee Associate ProfessorCenter for the Study of Higher Education University of Arizona
Global Scientific Flows Grad students and Postdocs from Asia seeking positions in North America and Western Europe
Global Political Economy International students as economic and scientific units of prestige Global political economy shapes direction of scientific flows Resources (Costs, fellowships funded by grants, scholarships) Laboratories, equipment, knowledge Language (English) Immigration
International graduate students in US350000300000250000200000 Non-STEM150000 STEM100000 50000 0 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010National Science Board. 2012. Science and Engineering Indicators 2012. Arlington VA: NSF (NSB 12-01).
International Graduate Student Top 20 Countries of Origin All Majors India 19% China 27% South Korea Taiwan 12% Other Asians Non-Asians 4% 5% 25% 8% Other (Not Top 20, <.05%)National Science Board. 2012. Science and Engineering Indicators 2012. Arlington VA: NSF (NSB 12-01).
International Graduate Student Top 20 Countries of Origin STEM Majors India 15% China 8% South Korea 39%3% Taiwan 3% Other Asians 5% Non-Asians 27% Other (Not Top 20, <.05%)National Science Board. 2012. Science and Engineering Indicators 2012. Arlington VA: NSF (NSB 12-01).
Human side of educational migration Selective resistance to particular migratory groups Differing entrance requirements based on their country of origin Differing experiencesLee, Jenny J. & Charles Rice. (2007).Welcome to America? International studentperceptions of discrimination and neo-racism. Higher Education, 53(3): 381-409.
Asian StereotypesAsians are good at math.Asians are overachievers.Asians are quiet and hardworking.Asians all have heavy accents.Asian females are "exotic", and eager to please.Asians are traditional and unable to assimilate.Asians all look the same.Asians are athletically inferior.
In Educational Settings“Chinese work their socks off, they are constantly, all thetime working hard.”“Just getting out of China is a big deal”“They are willing to remain [temporary employees] foryears.”“Asians tend to have more of a lot of technical training butdon‟t have the kind of theoretical training.”“I think internationals are just used to longer work hours andjust are motivated to work harder than most Americans.”“I know some Chinese who literally spend day and night inthe lab… they want to be there.” Cantwell, Brendan & Jenny J. Lee (2010). Unseen workers in the academic factory: Perceptions of neo-racism among international postdocs in the US and UK. Harvard Education Review, 80(4): 490-517.
Neo-racism Racism to include stereotypes about one‟s country of origin. Superiority of cultures and national order Maintain racial hierarchies of oppression Seemingly justifies the marginalization of particular groups in a globalizing worldBalibar, E. (1992). Is there a ‘neo-racism’? In E. Balibar & I. Wallerstein (Eds.),Race, nation, class: Ambiguous identities (pp.17-28). New York: Verso
Neo-racism as a global filter of migration Differential experiences in US universities Differential benefits and outcomes in US universities Neo-racist systems act as switching devices, steering some migrants into some academic markets and denying access to othersLee, Jenny J. & Brendan Cantwell. (2012). The Global Sorting Machine: AnExamination of Neo-racism among International Students and Postdocs. In B. Pusser,et al. (Eds.), Universities and the public sphere: Knowledge creation and statebuilding in the era of globalization. New York: Routledge, Taylor, and Francis.
Postdoctoral Findings Two-tiered postdocs: Theoretical and Technical Shifting from specialized academic trainees to temporary scientific employees Uneven expectations from faculty, “Better workers” Differential tasks based on stereotypes Unequal working conditions Asia as a temporary labor market for scientific production
Study Population14 STEM Graduate Students 6 Male, 8 Female 4 MA, 10 PhD Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Computer Science, Pharmacy, Microbiology, Optical Sciences, Environmental Sciences 11 Asian, 3 Latin American China (5), Philippines (2), India, Indonesia, Korea, Indonesia
Uninformed AspirationsMajority aspire to become faculty but almost no professionalguidance from advisor“I advise myself” (Prasadini)“He asked once” (Boying)No teaching experience except to grading papers“I applied to be a TA but didn‟t get the job…maybe because ofmy English…Indians are better in language…Maybe its myproblem.” (Yan)Aspirations to become postdocs with limited awareness
Scholarly IsolationismLimited supervision, left alone to work on projects“My supervisor never talks to me but he talks to my advisorabout me, „please be aware of what you are saying.‟“Since I‟ve started this project, I haven‟t had any practicalresults in terms of publications or conference papers…Icomplained to my advisor several times… [My supervisors]don‟t push me at all” (Fujun)“I felt like I had all the pressure to come up with the project.”(Prasadini)
Uneven Advisor Relationships“They see us (international students) as second-classcitizens.” (Monica)“My advisor was testing me…if I get along with thepeople in the lab. I think she was looking for an ethicalperson.” (Juliana)“My professor told me, „In other places in the world youhave a hierarchical relationship between professor andstudents‟ ” (Prasadini)
Uneven Advisor Relationships“One of the main differences is the relationshipbetween students and faculty. I don‟t want togeneralize but usually the people from Asia, theytend to be more humble to their advisor andfaculties but the American students, theysometimes tend to behave like friends…It gives youmore chance of having a more comfortableconversation.” (Saehan)
Adversarial Advisor Relationships“The first time I met my professor, he said, „Chinese students aredifferent from US students… US students are more likely toconfront the professor so Chinese students are more quiet.‟That‟s the stereotype he says he has; that‟s his impression.”(Wuxin)“He told me his was pissed when he heard I was working[outside the department]. He told me if I wanted to make money,not be a graduate student, to not even be in academia…Irealized he was assigning me more responsibilities in thelab, like taking out the bromine waste, keeping the shelvesclean, ordering the fridges, the waterbaths.” (Monica)
Adversarial Advisor Relationships“[My advisor is] pushing me to do [a new project] so that hecan say he got funding. This is something I have no interestin. If I do it its because I am his student and notbecause of anything else…He said if I don’t take thefunding it would look bad on him. He puts me under alot of pressure…I feel like the completely lies to yousometimes.” (Prasadini)“It was difficult for me to get her to trust my results… It washard. It was really frustrating… (crying)” (Juliana)
Unpaid Work HoursPaid 20 hours/week, often work 40+ hours/week“I get paid to work 4-5 hours/day but I put in at least 8hours/day” (Carlo)“Sometimes I was required to work more than 30 hoursper week and I felt if the same work were to beassigned to a domestic student, and he or she had tobe convinced to do it, the advisor would have facedmore difficulty…pressure to do overtime is greaterthan that for domestic students. (Srinivas)
DisengagementSometimes I want to confront the professor or askquestions but I‟m thinking, I‟m not so sure about this…Idon‟t know what the proper thing to say, so I say less.I’m afraid of saying something that is wrong.(Wuxin)Sometimes we can‟t express our exact idea. In class,when the professor asks some questions, we feel likewe know the answers but we don‟t know how toexpress ourselves. We want to point out the problemsand we want to ask questions but we don’t know howto express so we just let it go. (Xiolin)
Diverted AspirationsLack of publication opportunities, lack of encouragementwith facultyResearch positions misaligned with research interestsChanging aspirations into private sectorUnable to switch advisors due to funding, dissertationdata, prolonged graduation, and “political” reasons “Going through that process again with a new advisor, in a new lab…Regardless, there are some cultural things that are going to be difficult to overcome. I don’t want to go through this whole process again. It takes a lot of time.”
International Networks Almost all interviewees discussed receiving most professional advice from international friends over faculty “Its hard to make friends with people from different countries. If you have one, you know its hard and cherish it a lot, especially with people from the US… They are more impersonal and contractual…From my perspective, they treat non- US students that way.” (Fujin)
Discussion Academic flows to the West but questionable experiences upon entry Unproductive time in research positions Uncertain and uninformed career paths Restructuring of global scientific labor markets