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Across Three Continents

Reflections on Immigration, Education, and Personal Survival


Katerina Bodovski

Born in Soviet Moscow, Katerina Bodovski was twelve years old when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, coming of age as the «perestroika» and «glasnost» movement gained full speed. She would later arrive in Israel during the peak of the peace process during which time Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated. Her final move to America, months after the upset of 9/11, would also directly and indirectly shape the way her personal journey unfolded.
The unique feature of this work lies in the combination of autobiographical narrative and sociological analysis. By personalizing accounts of immigration, education, and family transformations, this book discusses the author’s firsthand experiences in Soviet Russia, Israel, and the United States. The book speaks to scholars of education by providing examples and patterns in educational systems of the Soviet Union, Israel, and the United States. Beyond academia, the book will resonate with immigrants who have experienced transitions between lands and languages. Furthermore, Dr. Bodovski utilizes her female perspective to illuminate different aspects of family life, immigration processes, and, finally, her experiences in United States academia as a doctoral student and a professor.
Across Three Continents: Reflections on Immigration, Education, and Personal Survival will be of specific interest to women, especially young women, who are trying to figure out the interplay between their family and professional life and what is possible for them to aspire for and to achieve. This text is ideal for courses focused on comparative education, women’s studies, Jewish studies, sociology of education, childhood, and immigration.
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I’m grateful for the journey I’m on and for the opportunity to look at my personal story through the lenses of the discipline I have chosen as my intellectual home. I feel fortunate to have gone through the experiences that brought me where I am today. I’m grateful for the opportunity to write this book and for the chance for my book to see the light of publication.

I’m grateful for the people I’ve met along the way. Aaron Benavot and George Farkas are my mentors; they forever have my love and gratitude. I greatly appreciate my colleagues and graduate students in the Department of Education Policy Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, many of whom have been supportive of this project. Their encouragement and willingness to read the manuscript meant a lot. The Eurasia Special Interest Group of the Comparative International Education Society has been a forum that allowed me to explore my ideas and to become confident in using my voice in this somewhat unusual way. I’m incredibly thankful to talented and generous Hani El Hajj who designed the cover for the book. Norman Wengert is my spiritual mentor, I will be always thankful for his wisdom and guidance.

I’m blessed with amazing friends; they live all over the globe and to list them all would be a difficult task haunted by a worry of forgetting someone. I would like, however, to name the friends whose love and support in general, but...

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