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Infrastructures of immobility: enabling international distance education students in Africa to not move

Breines, Markus Roos; Raghuram, Parvati and Gunter, Ashley (2019). Infrastructures of immobility: enabling international distance education students in Africa to not move. Mobilities (Early Access).

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2019.1618565
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Abstract

There is now a large literature discussing how mobilities are part of contemporary everyday power geometries and is a resource to which people have unequal access (Massey 1994; Sheller and Urry 2006). This body of work has, thus, valorised mobility as a desirable good. Why some people choose immobility and what has to be mobilised to enable this immobility has received much less attention. This paper draws on interviews with international distance education students in Namibia and Zimbabwe studying at the University of South Africa (UNISA) to explore the spatio-temporal underpinnings to why students choose to remain at home while studying abroad and how this is arranged. It outlines the infrastructures of reach that enable student immobility and how their incomplete nature means that students have to rely on extensive systems of mobilities of other people and objects to ensure that their study progresses without their own educational mobility. In doing so we move away from considering immobility as a result of limited access to mobility. Instead we set out a new research agenda on why and how the infrastructures of immobilities are important in mobility research.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN: 1745-011X
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
IDEASES/P002161/1Economic and Social Research Council
IDEASUTSA160329161196National Research Foundation
Keywords: mobilities; immobilities; infrastructure; distance education; Africa; reach; intermediary
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Sociology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Geography
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 61001
Depositing User: Markus Breines
Date Deposited: 09 May 2019 10:55
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2019 12:12
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/61001
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