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Money Matters: A Cultural Analysis of the Experiences and Expectations of American Students in Sweden Regarding Tuition Fees

Savage, Audrey LU (2020) TKAM02 20201
Division of Ethnology
Abstract
This thesis analyzes the experiences and expectations of American students conducting full-time master’s studies in Sweden and how their monetary valuation of education, demonstrated through paying tuition, impacts their studies. This thesis additionally aims to explore how students adapt a specific academic habitus during their US educational experiences that they, in turn, bring with them to study in Sweden. They must then adjust their habitus and expectations to the less commodified education system that they experience in Sweden. With the help of the theoretical frameworks of Georg Simmel’s philosophy of money and valuation, Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field, Monique Scheer’s ideas of emotions as habitus-created... (More)
This thesis analyzes the experiences and expectations of American students conducting full-time master’s studies in Sweden and how their monetary valuation of education, demonstrated through paying tuition, impacts their studies. This thesis additionally aims to explore how students adapt a specific academic habitus during their US educational experiences that they, in turn, bring with them to study in Sweden. They must then adjust their habitus and expectations to the less commodified education system that they experience in Sweden. With the help of the theoretical frameworks of Georg Simmel’s philosophy of money and valuation, Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field, Monique Scheer’s ideas of emotions as habitus-created practices, and Erving Goffman’s analysis of socialized rules of conduct and expectations, an ethnographic study was conducted involving individual interviews, focus groups, and autoethnography. This study revealed that American students’ academic habitus is influenced by the heavily commodified education system that they experience in the US. In Sweden, this causes them to frequently mentally enact the role of a customer within their education who has purchased a specialized service and expects specific value back for their purchase price. This creates acculturative stress and tension both individually and in the classroom, as the Swedish academic field does not present itself as a purchasable service, but rather as a collaborative public good in which all participants have an equal right to gain and develop knowledge. This study will not only contribute to a better understanding of American students’ experiences in Sweden but will also allow higher education employees in Sweden to better anticipate American students’ expectations and reactions to particular behaviours, both inside and outside the classroom. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Denna avhandling analyserar erfarenheter och förväntningar hos amerikanska studenter som genomför master studier på heltid i Sverige och hur deras monetära värdering av utbildningen, demonstrerat genom betalning av undervisning, påverkar deras studier. Undersökningens syfte är också att utforska hur eleverna anpassar det specifika akademiska habitus som de tar med sig från sina amerikanska utbildningserfarenheter till sina studier i Sverige. De måste sedan anpassa sitt habitus och sina förväntningar till det mindre kommodifierade utbildningssystem som de upplever i Sverige. Med hjälp av de teoretiska ramarna för Georg Simmels filosofi om pengar och värdering, Pierre Bourdieus begrepp om habitus och fält, Monique Scheers idéer om känslor... (More)
Denna avhandling analyserar erfarenheter och förväntningar hos amerikanska studenter som genomför master studier på heltid i Sverige och hur deras monetära värdering av utbildningen, demonstrerat genom betalning av undervisning, påverkar deras studier. Undersökningens syfte är också att utforska hur eleverna anpassar det specifika akademiska habitus som de tar med sig från sina amerikanska utbildningserfarenheter till sina studier i Sverige. De måste sedan anpassa sitt habitus och sina förväntningar till det mindre kommodifierade utbildningssystem som de upplever i Sverige. Med hjälp av de teoretiska ramarna för Georg Simmels filosofi om pengar och värdering, Pierre Bourdieus begrepp om habitus och fält, Monique Scheers idéer om känslor som praktiker skapade från habitus, och Erving Goffmans analys av socialiserade regler för uppförande och förväntningar, så genomfördes en etnografisk studie som innehåller individuella intervjuer, fokus grupper, och autoetnografi. Den här undersökningen avslöjande att amerikanska studenters akademiska habitus är starkt påverkat av det kraftigt kommodifierade utbildningssystemet som de upplever i USA. Detta får dem att ofta mentalt anta rollen som en kund inom sin utbildning som har köpt en specialiserad tjänst och förväntar sig ett specifikt värde tillbaka för deras inköpspris. I Sverige så skapar detta ackulturativ stress och spänning både individuellt och i klassrummet eftersom den svenska akademiska världen inte presenterar sig som en tjänst, utan snarare som en samverkande allmän tjänst där alla har rätt att tillförskaffa sig och fördjupa sin kunskap. Denna studie kommer inte bara att bidra till en bättre förståelse av amerikanska studenters upplevelser i Sverige utan kommer också att göra det möjligt för anställda vid institut för högre utbildning i Sverige att bättre förutse amerikanska studenters förväntningar och reaktioner på speciella beteenden, både inom och utanför klassrummet. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Savage, Audrey LU
supervisor
organization
course
TKAM02 20201
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
American students, Sweden, education, tuition, money, educational value, USA, valuation, cost analysis, habitus, academic field, commodification of education, the knowledge economy
language
English
id
9018626
date added to LUP
2020-06-16 11:44:53
date last changed
2020-06-16 11:44:53
@misc{9018626,
  abstract     = {This thesis analyzes the experiences and expectations of American students conducting full-time master’s studies in Sweden and how their monetary valuation of education, demonstrated through paying tuition, impacts their studies. This thesis additionally aims to explore how students adapt a specific academic habitus during their US educational experiences that they, in turn, bring with them to study in Sweden. They must then adjust their habitus and expectations to the less commodified education system that they experience in Sweden. With the help of the theoretical frameworks of Georg Simmel’s philosophy of money and valuation, Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field, Monique Scheer’s ideas of emotions as habitus-created practices, and Erving Goffman’s analysis of socialized rules of conduct and expectations, an ethnographic study was conducted involving individual interviews, focus groups, and autoethnography. This study revealed that American students’ academic habitus is influenced by the heavily commodified education system that they experience in the US. In Sweden, this causes them to frequently mentally enact the role of a customer within their education who has purchased a specialized service and expects specific value back for their purchase price. This creates acculturative stress and tension both individually and in the classroom, as the Swedish academic field does not present itself as a purchasable service, but rather as a collaborative public good in which all participants have an equal right to gain and develop knowledge. This study will not only contribute to a better understanding of American students’ experiences in Sweden but will also allow higher education employees in Sweden to better anticipate American students’ expectations and reactions to particular behaviours, both inside and outside the classroom.},
  author       = {Savage, Audrey},
  keyword      = {American students,Sweden,education,tuition,money,educational value,USA,valuation,cost analysis,habitus,academic field,commodification of education,the knowledge economy},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Money Matters: A Cultural Analysis of the Experiences and Expectations of American Students in Sweden Regarding Tuition Fees},
  year         = {2020},
}