International Elite Schooling and the Maintenance of National Elite Status

Karen Lillie

Nationally elite schools are known to reproduce their nations’ elite groups. However, in modern globalization, internationality has come to define status and power. As a result, nationally elite families are turning to international elite schools to acquire internationally recognized elite status, at the same time that they continue to work to maintain their nationally elite status. The project explores this complexity by asking: To what extent and with what implications does international elite schooling actually shape one’s nationally elite status? Contributing to sociology of education and elite studies, this question sheds light more broadly on whether elite schools are producing elite subjects that are able to exploit political and economic opportunities associated with modern globalization while remaining connected to their nation-state. Data will come from interviews with both young people who studied at international elite schools and their parents. The focus will be on families from economically emerging geographies not commonly associated with global status, as they arguably have the most to gain by bridging the gap between their national and international status. Project duration: October 2021 to September 2023.

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