Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Through the cultural looking glass: Considering the effects of cross -cultural immersion experiences
by Leach, Shari Suzanne, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2006, 181; 3251491
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative hermeneutic study grew out of a desire to evaluate the effects of cross-cultural immersion experiences, particularly on the development of the individual's awareness of her or his cultural perspective. Twenty individuals (ten men and ten women) of diverse cultural backgrounds participated in focus groups or interviews, in addition to constructing written concept maps. All participants had lived outside of their self-identified culture of origin for a minimum of three months over the last two years; the majority for significantly more time. After transcription of the audiotaped interviews, data were analyzed for themes. Key themes of experience identified include (1) shifts in awareness of cultural self-identity as a result of feeling different, (2) an increased appreciation for the culture of origin, (3) a deepened sense of connection to others, and (4) an increased awareness of stereotypes. A few negative experiences were also noted. The discussion that follows incorporates themes that emerged from the interviews and participant feedback, exploring the effect of cross-cultural immersion experiences on the development of cultural self-identity and cultural perspective awareness. Comparisons are made showing similarities and differences among respondents. Suggestions for future research are offered. The study's findings suggest significant implications in terms of the results of cross-cultural immersion experiences.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Williams, M. Willson
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 68/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Families & family life, Personal relationships, Sociology, Minority & ethnic groups, Sociology
Keywords: Cross-cultural immersion, Identity development, Immersion
Publication Number: 3251491
ISBN: 978-1-109-89654-1
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