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"Creating a Home away from Home": Chinese Undergraduate Student Enclaves in US Higher Education

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Chen, Yajing; Ross, Heidi

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Abstract "This paper draws on the theory of ethnic enclaves to study Chinese international student communities and their role in constructing Chinese undergraduate student experiences on US campuses. Enclave theory has primarily been used by sociologists to study immigrant and diaspora populations, but it can also provide an important analytical tool for scholars examining the internationalisation of student populations in higher-education settings. Student interviews and participant observation at a representative research-intensive, doctoral-granting institution in the American Midwest indicate that institutional and media characterisations of Chinese international student communities as closed and segregated are far too simplistic. Chinese student enclaves provide their members with crucial information, support, and social spaces that help them adapt to - and in turn change - their host institutions. Chinese students are active participants in and creators of campus cultures that are often invisible to university administrators, faculty, and peers." (author's abstract)
Keywords United States of America; Chinese; student; female student; university; university; community; social capital; collective consciousness; studies (academic); foreign countries; social support; social network; social media; ethnic group; segregation
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories; University Education
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 155-181
Journal Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 44 (2015) 3
Issue topic Going Out: The Lives of Chinese Students Abroad
ISSN 1868-4874
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NoDerivs