International Scholarships and Social Change: Elements for a New Approach

  • Joan R. Dassin
  • David Navarrete


This chapter argues that establishing the relationship between individual scholarship recipients and broader social change impacts requires a new approach to research and evaluation. Rather than seeing individual recipients as lone actors pursuing idealized trajectories of study and career advancement, group identity and the specific circumstances under which individuals begin their educational and professional journeys, and the contexts to which they return, are key elements in evaluating the role of scholarships as catalysts for social change. Typically based on indicators such as graduation and repatriation rates and post-scholarship employment, conventional tracer studies and evaluations fail to capture the collective and contextual dimensions of an individual’s post-scholarship trajectory. Instead, this chapter proposes a new focus on the enabling/disabling conditions for social transformation to occur. Local researchers, in particular, should be encouraged to conduct research and analysis that will lead to improved understanding of the factors that both inhibit and foster social change in diverse settings.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan R. Dassin
    • 1
  • David Navarrete
    • 2
  1. 1.Heller School for Social Policy and ManagementBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA
  2. 2.Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS)Mexico CityMexico

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