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ERIC Number: ED414594
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
A Different Mirror: The Position of Immigrant Writers in British Society.
Williams, Bronwyn T.
In teaching international students in Britain and students in the United States in multicultural and multiclass classrooms, a common resistance was found to the consideration of how culture and society shape identity. Even international students from collectivist cultures, who see their identities as inextricable from their communities in their countries of origin, resist the idea that the new society in which they find themselves is busy defining them, regardless of their actions or responses. One approach to this problem is to encourage students to write in a way that engages the societal expectations and identities of the culture surrounding them. While the central mythology of the United States is that of an immigrant-receiving nation, Britain is considered a post-colonizing nation fundamentally hostile to the idea of immigration. Paradoxically, much of Britain's popular writing of the last 15 years has come from novelists who are immigrants, novelists such as Caryl Phillips, Hanif Kureishi, Sunetra Gupta, and Jan Lo Shinebourne. In interviews, these four writers respond differently about their conceptions of identity, and their answers may reverberate differently in a multicultural classroom. Cultural differences and classroom requirements will necessitate different kinds of writing with different focuses. Yet students should consider their roles as writers in relationship to the society they are experiencing. They should be encouraged to feel a sense of power and engagement as public writers--or writers with a public. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A