Despite a robust body of scholarship on positionality, the practice of international Higher Education research often neglects engagement with the varied, fluid and complex positionalities of researchers across national boundaries. Through a series of vignettes, the authors argue for reflexivity that extends beyond rigid social identities and towards embodied knowledge, or self-understanding that is mutable and context responsive. For international mobile researchers especially, new affinities can evolve through propinquity and social custom, and gradually become incorporated into self-knowledge with the passing of time. Beyond mere cultural competency, this article raises the importance of symbolic competency that simultaneously negotiates the multiple dimensions of language, various forms of capital, as well as evolving social identities in conducting research in different contexts.
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