European occupational travellers: synergies, tensions and competencies in bridging academic and occupational mobility

Danaher, Patrick A. ORCID: and Anteliz, Emilio A. (2011) European occupational travellers: synergies, tensions and competencies in bridging academic and occupational mobility. In: Analysing the consequences of academic mobility and migration. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, pp. 147-162. ISBN 978-1-4438-2978-6


European Travellers are well-versed in occupational mobility: for generations their means of livelihood has required them to embrace and engage with the opportunities and obstacles that reside in the 'in-between space' separating yet linking nomadic and settled populations. These opportunities and obstacles have applied also to the Travellers’ academic mobility, with Traveller education oscillating between specialised innovation and homogenised control.

The objective of this paper is to distil the constructions by selected European Travellers of the academic and occupational dimensions of their mobility. The analysis addresses the research question: 'What are the synergies and tensions between academic and occupational mobility for European occupational Travellers?' The conceptual framework is drawn from contemporary theorising of the lifeworlds of itinerant communities (Kenny & Danaher, 2009).

The research reported here based its method of inquiry on the principles of qualitative case study, deploying as appropriate ethnographic, narrative and phenomenographic elements. The data source is extended, semi-structured interviews with barge, circus and fairground people in England, the Netherlands and Scotland, selectively augmented by empirical accounts of equivalent communities in Ireland, Italy and Norway (Danaher, Kenny, & Remy Leder, 2009).

The paper’s key conclusion is its elaboration of several implications of this analysis for taking further the identified synergies and tensions entailed in bridging academic and occupational mobility. In particular, the competences of the mobile person can be understood as themselves exhibiting a fundamental mobility across different kinds of physical and social space, each with a specific set of norms, expectations and affordances. At the same time, that mobility – that is, the capacity to apply those competences effectively across multiple contexts – is socially situated and politicised, and is often constrained when moving between the academic and occupational domains. These implications demonstrate that in seeking to bridge academic and occupational mobility educators, policy-makers and researchers can learn much from European Travellers and their multiple itineraries.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 8. All rights for this book reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2012 10:19
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2017 04:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic mobility, competence, Europe, occupational mobility, occupational Travellers
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130199 Education systems not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390399 Education systems not elsewhere classified
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390499 Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930599 Education and Training Systems not elsewhere classified

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