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Title: An ethnographic study of how Chinese students in a UK university understand and respond to emotions in their intercultural adjustment
Author: Zheng, Weijia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 2300
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2015
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This is an ethnographic study of a group of Chinese students in a UK university and their emotional experiences while they adjust to the host academic and sociocultural environment. The study focuses on these students’ understanding of and responses to emotions in their intercultural encounters in this context. The empirical findings show that: 1) Chinese students’ constructions of emotions: seek connections with people in the host environment; value approval in interactions with people in the host environment; pursue competence when performing academic and social tasks; promote positive self-presentation in classroom discussions; seek intimacy in intercultural friendships; and value sincerity in intercultural relationships. These constructions are centred on three aspects: encountering and engaging with the host environment; performing academic and social tasks; and developing interpersonal relationships. 2) Chinese students’ ways of responding to emotions involve: changing oneself; changing the environment; and other responses (including emotion-focused coping and the avoidance of emotion eliciting events or situations). 3) There are a variety of sociocultural and historical factors that influence the development of Chinese students’ constructions of or responses to emotions in their intercultural adjustment processes: emotional contagion, emotional coincidence, empathy, close proximity, the presence of other Chinese students, a perceived low level of host receptivity, conformity pressure from the Chinese group, being in a disadvantageous position in power imbalanced encounters, habituation with the existing Chinese network, and previous learning experiences. The findings give valuable insights into Chinese students’ affective intercultural adjustment journey, and have practical implications for prospective Chinese international students and intercultural education in higher education, especially in the context of the UK.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available