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Toward Transnational Communities of Practice: An Inquiry Into the Experiences of Transnational Academic Mobility

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Abstract

Transnational mobility characterized by multiple and circular movement of people and their simultaneous interconnections across transnational borders pose challenges to the conception of a closed boundary of community of practice (CoP). This study aims to explore the changing dynamics of CoP in transnational space by examining experiences of transnational academic mobility and connectivity. Through a qualitative case study of internationally educated Chinese transnational academics, who maintained academic and professional connections with their host countries of doctoral studies, this article demonstrates the building of transnational CoPs through their sociocultural learning in transnational space. It underscores tensions, negotiation of power relations, identity trans/formation, and potentials for change in transnational social space. It overshadows the significance of physical boundaries in organizing work, learning, and identities. The study highlights conceptualization of transnational communities of practice for understanding the experiences and identities of transnational academics.

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The centrality of ethnography in the study of transnational migration
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