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Durham e-Theses
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National identity (re)construction and negotiation and cosmopolitanism in the intercultural study-abroad context: Student sojourners from Taiwan in the UK

HUANG, SHIH-CHING (2015) National identity (re)construction and negotiation and cosmopolitanism in the intercultural study-abroad context: Student sojourners from Taiwan in the UK. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This exploratory study investigates how national identity is possibly (re)constructed, negotiated, and expanded during sojourners’ study-abroad experience, focusing on the student sojourners from Taiwan in the United Kingdom. Situated within the framework of social constructionism, the study is based on an interdisciplinary foundation which draws on the fields of identities, nationalism, intercultural communication, study-abroad, education and cosmopolitanism. It involves 20 international students from Taiwan in qualitative interviews and thematic analysis guides the data analysis process.
The findings revealed a number of important points. First, the factors of homeland Taiwan and its cultures, schooling, family education, family history and the study-abroad experience are found to be integral to the national identities (i.e., Taiwanese and Chinese, ROC, identities) of the sojourners from Taiwan. Secondly, in terms of identity conflict management, especially with the mainland Chinese (PRC) peers, the dominating style as a way of defending the self-face and Taiwanese identity, and the avoiding tendency (i.e., avoiding arguments over the Taiwan-China political dispute) have been reported. Overall, the boundaries of being Taiwanese are drawn and re-drawn in accordance with the on-going process of communication with Chinese (PRC) and non-Chinese (PRC) in the study-abroad context in the UK. Last, whereas Taiwanese identity becomes particularly salient, cosmopolitan belonging is also found to be strong among many participants due to the cultural diversity of the study-abroad environment, although it is also contested for some.
The study contributes to the study-abroad literature in its discussion of national identities. Also, the findings offer insights for international educators to better understand the experience of students from Taiwan in the UK and for educators in Taiwan who handle pre-sojourn courses and/or training.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:National identity, study-abroad, cosmopolitanism, identity negotiation, Taiwanese
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:27 Apr 2016 12:14

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