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ERIC Number: EJ870895
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-1467-5986
Experiences and Coping Strategies of Host Families in International Youth Exchange
Weidemann, Arne; Bluml, Frances
Intercultural Education, v20 suppl S1-2 pS87-S102 2009
Twenty narrative interviews were conducted with German host parents between 2006 and 2007 about their experiences with a one-year stay of a guest student in their family. The study took place within the context of a student research project as part of the research-oriented MA course "Intercultural Communication-Intercultural Competence" at Chemnitz University of Technology. The interviews were analyzed by means of Grounded Theory, which revealed that the guest families' experiences are determined not only by the personality/character and sociocultural background of the guest student, but to a higher degree by the specific motives, wishes and expectations of the host parents. Both socially shared and individual norms, attitudes and values proved to guide the host parents' interaction with their guest, to some extent explicitly, but mainly in an unconscious and implicit way. The action chains as explicated by the interviewees can be understood as individual coping strategies for cultural differences, which in themselves can turn out to be problematic (i.e. when they mainly serve the regulation of self-esteem, or when experienced difference is wrongly attributed to culture instead of, for example, developmental processes of adolescence). Hence, in comparative analysis, both challenges and potentials of intercultural learning (as defined in the CfP) from hosting a guest student could be identified, and recommendations for better practice could be derived. In particular, the latter should be discussed in a practitioner-scientist dialogue. (Contains 4 notes and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany