Engaging With the Everyday Politics of Internationalisation of Higher Education

Contrasts Between Interviews and Collective Memory-Work


  • Maria Vlachou Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO)


The experiences of international students have been mainly studied with one-to-one interviews. Researching experience with interviews is arguably limiting as they often fail to capture and delve into the historical, political and social production of everyday experiences. Having in mind these limitations, I took a different entry point to the experiences of international students in the UK during the period of 2012 and 2016. In my attempt to offer justice to the socio-political aspects of their experiences, I used the feminist methodology called Collective Memory-Work. Adding another layer of methodological complexity, I also conducted one-to-one interviews in order to compare and contrast the produced empirical material and the different research dynamics. This methodological experiment proved to be particularly valuable, as it contributes to the argument that research methods are as crucial as our theoretical and political lenses. In fact, they are ways to make these consistent with each other. For unpacking the possibilities and the potentialities of methodologies like memory-work, which is designed to be politically and theoretically situated, I use the thought of Rancière. His provocative view of representative politics as mere politics of policing versus everyday experimental politics offers another angle to reflecting on the politics of social research.





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