Mobility as rhizome and becoming: experiences of Vietnamese women in crossing borders to do doctorates

Xuan Pham, David Bright

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to unpack the meanings and implications of mobility through the experiences of a group of Vietnamese women who decided to do doctorates in Australia. Drawing on the Deleuzian concepts of rhizome and becoming, our analysis of interview data suggests that mobility is made of multiple connections and is in constant movement, extending often reductive “push-pull” discussions of academic mobility. Each aspect shaping mobility connects to another that is multiscalar and multitemporal, where family, education ideologies, gender norms, economic globalization, neoliberalization within higher education, and the histories and biographies of mobile people come together. Power relations are immanent within structures associated with these connections and the women and mobility come together to create aspirations for educational, professional, and personal becoming. The paper offers a more nuanced understanding of international academic mobility rather than relying on economic perspectives and invites innovative approaches in supporting international doctoral students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-622
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Studies in International Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Australia
  • Deleuze
  • higher education
  • mobility
  • Vietnam
  • women

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