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ERIC Number: ED550087
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 260
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2671-6779-8
Caribbean International Undergraduates' "Resisting, Reframing and Reaffirming" of Their Ethnic Identity at a Four Year Institution
Malcolm, Zaria T.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida
The purpose of this study was to examine the ethnic identity experiences of Caribbean international students in the context of the over-generalized and homogenous aspects of their institutional discourse on international students. It also sought to consider their identification with their native backgrounds and the United States in view of their new environment. Through a methodological design grounded in constructionism and subjectivism, six Caribbean international students participated in three rounds of data collection including two rounds of interviews and photo voice and reflective journaling. Data was analyzed using a hybrid of both Charmaz's (2009) and Clarke's (2005) grounded theory methods with a resulting theory illustrating the complexity inherent to these students' negotiation of their ethnic identity. Additionally, the study was framed in Judith Butler's (1990) theoretical work on performativity and identity to examine aspects of intersectionality, identity, subjectivity and agency in relation to participants' negotiation of their ethnic identity in the context of institutional discourse on international students. Based on the analysis I propose a multilayered theory exhibiting the fluidity and complexity of the Caribbean international students' ethnic identity experience. Three significant dimensions emerge from participants' experiences located at the core of their ethnic identity: 1) Resisting, 2) Reaffirming, and 3) Reframing. These three dimensions are reactions to the institutional context. More specifically, four elements of the institutional context emerged: programmatic efforts, pedagogical elements, campus demographics, and immigration requirements. In addition, for each of the three reacting dimensions at the core, there are three different salient aspects of their ethnic identity negotiation: 1) For the resisting dimension students employ selective assimilation, adjustments to language and accent, and separation of identities. 2) For the reaffirming dimension students navigate commitment to home, academic identity, and feelings of empowerment. And finally, 3) for reframing attachment to the Caribbean, personal development, and peer relations matter. The emerging theory reveals that participants constantly make shifts in their navigation of their identity in their new academic and cultural setting, and that institutional stakeholders must pay closer attention to the overgeneralized and homogenous institutional discourse on international students to maximize internationalization missions on learning, discovering and engagement. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A