Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.531432
Title: Living through ambiguity : the cross-cultural experience of Chinese students in London
Author: Ding, Hong
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
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Abstract:
This thesis tells the stories of four mature Chinese students' journey to the West. It explores their expectations, discoveries, frustrations and dilemmas during their one year postgraduate study in London. In view of the recent trend of mainland Chinese students coming to study in Britain, I examine what they encountered upon arrival and how they coped with an unfamiliar environment. Central to my concern is how they perceived and interpreted their experiences. Ethnography and narrative analysis served as methodologies for this inquiry. In-depth interviews were conducted and participants' narrative accounts subsequently analyzed. The combination of approaches was innovative as well as effective in unlocking how the impact of their journey influenced the construction of their identities. The study reveals that newcomers faced difficulties and ambiguities in academic, social and cultural dimensions. How they negotiated conflicting values and sought self-understanding was highlighted in the analysis. Findings from the research raise two questions: on a practical level, what support can be provided for Chinese students in their transition to the British education system? I emphasize that their predicaments are not adequately acknowledged at the moment. On a theoretical level, I argue that, when theorizing post modem identity, the socio-cultural and political contexts in which individuals are historically positioned should not be neglected. Depending on who and where you are, different levels of flexibility are required for new mobility. This study shows that participants' coming to terms with their cross-cultural experience involves active engagements in making the adjustment and constructing reflexively meanings out of it. The research concludes that meeting Chinese students' need for support is as important as the strategy of recruiting them. UK higher education institutions should respond to the new challenge so that possible change can take place to improve the quality of their educational and cultural experience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.531432  DOI: Not available
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