Identity formation in a multicultural university residential hall: An ethnographic narrative inquiry of a local–non-local ‘hybrid’

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Abstract

Internationalisation has recently become one of the major developmental goals within many institutions of higher education, where the use of languages on campus plays an important role. While research focusing on the use of English in higher education is growing, little attention has been paid to out-of-class contexts. This paper reports on the identity formation of an undergraduate who lived in a multicultural residential hall on an English-medium campus in Hong Kong through ethnographic narrative inquiry. The combination of ethnographic observations and informal talks with the participant in the research field for a two-year period, the participant's Facebook posts and photographs as records of his hall life and three intensive face-to-face interviews generated rich data for the inquiry. The participant was described as a local–non-local ‘hybrid’ because of his dual identity of being both local and non-local. Drawing on Wenger's framework of social theory of identity formation, this paper revealed the challenges of internationalisation in higher education through the perspective of the ‘hybrid’ with both local and non-local identities. An important implication arising from the study is the need to take a closer look at cultural integration and internationalisation in out-of-class contexts.
最近,國際化成為了高等教育主要發展目標之一,而在校園內所使用的語言扮演重著要角色。雖然有關在高等教育英語使用的研究越來越多,但其對課室外的情況關注不足。透過民族誌敘事探究(ethnographic narrative inquiry),本文報告一位居住在大學宿舍的本科生的身分形成。這所位於香港的大學以英語授課,而其宿舍住著不同國家的學生。數據來自兩年的觀察、與參加者的非正式會談、參與者的臉書帖子和照片及三次密集的訪談。因為有著本地和非本地生的雙重身份,這位參與者被形容為本地及非本地的「混合生」(hybrid)。本文借用Wenger的身分形成社會理論,以這位「混合生」的角度揭示高等教育國際化的挑戰。本研究對課室以外的文化融合和國際化起著重要影響。Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-534
JournalLanguage and Intercultural Communication
Volume16
Issue number4
Early online dateMar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Citation

Yung, K. W.-H. (2016). Identity formation in a multicultural university residential hall: An ethnographic narrative inquiry of a local-non-local ‘hybrid’. Language and Intercultural Communication, 16(4), 519-534. doi: 10.1080/14708477.2016.1159692.

Keywords

  • Identity
  • Higher education
  • Internationalisation
  • Out-of-class contexts
  • English as a lingua franca
  • Hall residence

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