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Biculturalism, Cosmopolitanism and Migration: Exploring the Narrative of International Students Cultural Identity

Monks-Woods, Alice (2017) Biculturalism, Cosmopolitanism and Migration: Exploring the Narrative of International Students Cultural Identity. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The main aim of this research study was to explore what impact migration has on cultural identity. This study is seeking to show how this manifests itself in international students in terms of cosmopolitanism and biculturalism. How an individual navigates themselves through a culture and place is cosmopolitanism (Hazner, 1996). Biculturalism focuses on two cultural influences, the dominant and heritage culture, in order to understand the effect of migration (Schwartz and Unger, 2010). A multitude of qualitative methods were implemented which included participatory photography and ethnographic semi-structured interviews. Five international students, who had been living in Manchester six months or longer, were interviewed. The transcripts were analysed using narrative analysis, in order to understand the individual experience of each participant in a meaningful way (Phoenix et al., 2010). It is claimed that identities are portrayed and created through narratives (Phoenix et al., 2010). Three narratives were extracted from the data including ‘Home Away from Home’, ‘Ethnography of Food’ and ‘Narrative of Migration’. There were aspects of both cosmopolitanism and biculturalism in each narrative. This emphasises the need to incorporate two terms and thus an interdisciplinary approach. Future research could build on this study to produce a full perspective of influences on cultural identity upon migration.

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