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ERIC Number: EJ844265
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1060-9393
The Sociocultural Aspect of Education Abroad
Konstantinovskii, D. L.; Voznesenskaia, E. D.
Russian Education and Society, v51 n4 p3-28 Apr 2009
The authors attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of education abroad from the standpoint of assimilation of Western sociocultural models and their subsequent reproduction under the conditions of Russia. The research strategy and the focus on the subjective perception of attending school abroad dictated the choice of the interview method for the study. In the initial stage, the interviews were of the free narrative type--an account of travel abroad for the purpose of getting an education; this revealed the thematic nodes of the set of problems, the typical course of events, and the interpretation of the context meaning. Next the authors used semistructured interviews, including a list of topics and questions asked if informants had not touched on them in their free account. The answers reflected the participants' collective experience of having lived through a similar social situation, manifested in a number of cases in which the informants' statements were similar. Findings reveal that the "newcomer's" assimilation of cultural norms and models of behavior that are new to him, and how strongly they are established and whether they are successfully transferred to the reality of Russia, depend on how relatively large the distance was between the cultural model of the person newly arrived in the foreign country and the social and cultural context in which he ended up, just how new and attractive these discoveries turned out to be for him. A great many more discoveries in the field of sociocultural practices, and more active learning and assimilation, more enthusiasm on the part of newcomers, are shown by young people from the Russian provinces. When it comes to the mastery of the cultural institutional norms and rules of a foreign environment, great importance attaches to the duration of direct contact with that environment. Back in Russia, the reproduction of learned realities and models of behavior and everyday rules have differing degrees of persistence: there are certain cultural norms that are learned and maintained for a short time, but after a certain amount of time back in Russia they disappear, because they find no response in the local community. In the long run, whether cultural norms and rules of behavior are being brought in from abroad or are being formed in Russia itself depends entirely on the extent to which Russian society itself is changing in the course of its political, economic, and social transformations that are bringing about new cultural norms and rules that are in keeping with the spirit of transformation. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Russia