Transnational Studies Colloquium
(Sociology, Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, and the Center for Global Studies)
Friday, 22 April, 3:00 pm
Room 223 Temple Hoyne Buell Hall
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, UIUC
“Margins of difference: MBA training and ‘the value chain of culture’”
This paper draws upon ethnographic fieldwork in U.S. MBA programs to examine the reckoning of international space as a field of risk and opportunity for an emerging cohort of business practitioners. Focusing particularly on the short term study abroad trips that have become a staple of MBA training in the past decade, I am interested in the role of international knowledge and experience as a constitutive part of the managerial selves explicitly thought to be required by contemporary capitalism. Through these and other internationalizing experiences, I argue, MBAs learn to manage the margins: commensurating social and cultural differences as generative of value.