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Narda Razack

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Bodies on the Move

This article explores the meanings of race, identity, and nationality to illustrate how the self is constituted within travels to learn and teach abroad. The author draws from her research into the experiences of white and minority faculty and students who go to “developing” countries for research and work-study. A theoretical exploration of space elucidates how spaces are imagined and how identity is produced differently for minority and white participants in the spaces abroad. The article examines how identity is constructed in these travels and illustrates the struggles for minority students and faculty who travel alongside their white counterparts. Race is a palpable dynamic in international relations and has played a decisive role in colonial societies. The author argues that minority and white bodies that move from the North to the South experience a difference in terms of how their bodies are perceived by others, and more important, themselves. This essay cautions against replicating imperialism and racism and highlights the perils and possibilities inherent in international work.

social work–international, colonialism, whiteness, race

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 32, No. 4 (2005): 87-104