This paper focuses on how South Korean early study abroad (ESA) daughters think about their fathers as architects of their ESA experiences. These families which send their children abroad for better education have been noted for their flexible form, strategically relocating their family members across borders to maximize their opportunities to accumulate global capital. In this paper, however, we turn the lens to intergenerational and often conflicted relations within these transnational families – to the family not as a unified global capital accumulation unit, but as an often conflicted body. We note that ESA daughters’ ambivalence about their fathers as global architects and their own interest in controlling their education and employment has historical roots in the social mobility schemes and relations of earlier generations. Through an analysis of three ESA daughters’ narratives on their experiences with their fathers, we argue that the daughters are very interested in the intrinsic value of study abroad or cosmopolitanism and take issue with what can appear to be their fathers’ approach to the extrinsic value of study abroad.
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