Claire Maxwell

Claire Maxwell


Member of:

    My sociological research contributions are concerned with the practices of dominant social classes – and how institutions and processes of internationalisation mediate the desires and social relations fostered by these highly-resourced groups across different spaces.

    At present, I am studying this broader question in two key ways. 

    1. Together with a group of international collaborators, we are examining the lives of globally mobile professionals, examining how their family practices, school choices and articulations of identity are shaped by relations to ‘home’, degree and type of mobility, and national and ethnic positioning.
    2. I am investigating how the concept of ‘elite education’ is being articulated, experienced and re-negotiated across different cities and parts of the world, and the kinds of elite subjects being produced in these institutions.

    I joined the University of Copenhagen’s Sociology Department in September 2018, having moved from University College London.

    I am co-editor of the journal - International Studies in Sociology of Education (

    Primary fields of research

    • Sociology of education
    • Globally mobile professionals / the global middle classes
    • Elites and elite education
    • Internationalisation of education
    • Social justice in privileging spaces

    Current research

    1. Mobility, education and belonging – a comparative study of global professionals’ educational aspirations

    Initially funded by the British Association of International and Comparative Education, this comparative study brings together colleagues from Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Tel Aviv and London to study how globally-mobile professionals understand their identities, make education choices for their children and embed a set of familial practices in light of their significant physical and virtual mobility across the transnational space.

    A special issue co-edited by myself and colleagues of Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education show-cases the latest research in the field – 2019, volume 40, issue 5:

    Yemini, M. & Maxwell, C. (2020) ‘The purpose of travel in the cultivation practices of differently positioned parental groups in Israel’, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 41(1): 18-31.

    Maxwell, C. & Yemini. M. (2019) ‘Modalities of cosmopolitanism and mobility: parental education strategies of global, immigrant and local middle-class Israelis’, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 40(5): 616-632.


    2. The role of internationalisation in re-framing meanings of (elite) education – a de-stabilisation or embedding of local and national relations of privilege?

    Beginning with this edited book: Maxwell, C. (2018) ‘Changing spaces – the re-shaping of (elite) education through internationalisation’, in C. Maxwell, Deppe, U., Krüger, H-H & Helsper, W. (eds) Elite Education and Internationalisation. From the Early Years into Higher Education.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 347-367.

    This interest has also led to the publication of:

    Engel, L.C., Maxwell, C. & Yemini, M. (eds) (2020) The Machinery of School Internationalisation in Action.  Beyond the Established Boundaries. New York: Routledge.

    Maxwell, C., Yemini, M., Engel, L., & Lee, M. (2020) ‘Cosmopolitan nationalism in the cases of South Korea, Israel and the US’, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 41(6), 845-858.

    And collaborative papers with Professor Adam Howard from Colby College in the US, including:

    Howard, A. & Maxwell, C. (2018) ‘From conscientization to imagining redistributive strategies: Social justice collaborations in elite schools’, Globalisation, Societies and Education, 16(4): 526-540.

    ID: 201662750