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Title:The Imported Subject: Complexities, Fragmentations and Re-Definitions of the International Student in Graduate Programs in United States Universities
Author(s):Matus, Claudia Lorena
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wanda Pillow
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Higher
Abstract:Through a qualitative study of four graduate international students in a U.S. university, I have sought in this dissertation to show how the constructions of identity within policies and research about them conflict fundamentally with the ways these students see themselves. I argue that the definitions provided of international students by governmental and educational institutions as well as research are based on a range of cultural and social assumptions about who the international students are, revealing a unitary and essentializing understanding of their subjectivity. I argue that it is vital to unpack these assumptions because they limit and restrict international students' experiences in the United States, perpetuating asymmetrical and unequal relations of power. I believe that a more complex understanding of identity is needed to better reflect the processes of identity formation within the current context of globalization and the internationalization of U.S. higher education. This study therefore has three main purposes: (a) through document analysis, it discusses a range of assumptions about international students that appear implicit in the official discourses of internationalization at the level of the state policy, institutional goals, and education research; (b) it reports an in depth qualitative study of four graduate students at a public university in the United States in order to discern how they constitute their own identities both in terms of their personal history, experiences and imagination and also in terms of the official discourses to which they are subjected through various regimes of regulation; and (c) it briefly suggests a number of theoretical conclusions that policy makers need to take into account to better cater for the cultural orientations and academic needs of international students.
Issue Date:2003
Description:179 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3111579
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2003

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