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Title: Acculturation experiences and identity negotiations in Saudi Arabian international students in the UK : from an acculturation perspective to a dialogical self perspective
Author: Al Ghamdi, Adil
ISNI:       0000 0005 0292 1804
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis is based on empirical fieldwork that consisted of two Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) studies investigating the acculturation experiences of Saudi international students in the UK. It further explored the identity negotiation process and perceived consequences on their sense of self and identities by combining the original acculturation framework from Berry (1997, 2011) with the Dialogical Self Theory of Hermans (2001). The aim of Study One was to examine transitions when moving to and studying in the UK for Saudi Arabian students focusing on the experiences that students reported as challenges. A sample of 8 Saudi international students studying at a university in South East England was used to collect data. Using IPA method, the analysis identified 14 primary themes relating to the Saudi Arabian students' experiences of the UK. Drawing on Berry's model (1997; 2011), the themes were organized around two stages of transition: 1) pre- moving to the UK and 2) arriving and living in the UK; and a third major theme emerged in the data, which was the impact of change on self-development. The findings reinforced experiences that are common to all international students, but in particular, they highlight experiences that were very specific to the sample of Saudi students studied. The findings showed that Saudi students experienced various challenges and difficulties. However, Study One also reported self-development as the outcome of students' acculturation. Further, the participants addressed the dialogue in identity positions linked to their home culture (Saudi) and being in the UK. The novel findings were used to guide the development of Study Two. The aim of this study was to understand how Saudi students negotiated the demands of different identity positions. This study involved a sample of 11 Saudi international students studying at universities in South East England. This involved an expansion of the theoretical framework by combining the original acculturation framework from Berry (1997, 2011) with Dialogical Self Theory from Hermans (2001) to obtain a more in-depth understanding of how Saudi students gave meaning to the idea of being Saudi students in the UK. Using IPA (Smith et al., 2009) and DST (Hermans, 2001), combining both phenomenology and interpretation, the analysis identified three distinct I-positions: I-as a Saudi in the UK, I-as a Saudi Arabian national identity, and Identity negotiation processes among these positions. The findings illustrated key areas of dialogical self experience of Saudi students. In this study, the dialogical self of the participants was engaged in negotiating I-positions and repositioning processes, which were dependent on and prompted by the participants' goals of studying abroad and their preferred future. The original and important findings generated by this research have distinct implications for the acculturation of Saudi international students and identity negotiations and contribute to the literature on cross-cultural experiences and international students' issues. This research contributes to helping prospective and current Saudi students to become more informed regarding the experiences they may encounter when studying in the UK.
Supervisor: de Abreu, Guida ; Burgess, Mark ; Rathbone, Clare Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral