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Mediating transnational spaces: international students and intercultural responsibility
journal contributionposted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by Ly TranLy Tran, T Vu
Despite the significant body of literature on international students’ intercultural development, the core issue of how they see their own responsibility in transnational intercultural spaces is largely neglected. This paper addresses this paucity by examining the intercultural responsibility perceived by international students. It is based on a four-year study that includes interviews with 105 international students and fieldwork in vocational education institutions. It draws on positioning theory and three key concepts: intercultural competence, intercultural capital and national attachment to interpret the nature of international students’ intercultural responsibility. The research underscores four main forms of intercultural responsibility perceived by international students: responsibility to represent the home country, responsibility to respect the host country, responsibility to assimilate into the host culture and responsibility to integrate into the host culture. Intercultural responsibility can emerge from international students’ national attachment and be embedded in their intrinsic commitment and imagination of their role in representing their home country in a transnational space. Intercultural responsibility can also manifest in international students’ self-determined responsibility to respect, accommodate or integrate into the host culture. However, the finding shows that international students’ act of positioning at the periphery of the host community and their perceived responsibility to assimilate into the host culture precludes their capacity to engage in and negotiate reciprocal and respectful intercultural interactions. The study highlights the role of international students’ self-positioning between and across home and host cultures in underpinning their perceived responsibility in transnational spaces.
Pagination283 - 303
Publication classificationC1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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