“You Just Use Your Imagination and Try to Fix It”: Agential Change and International Students

Blair Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

Although interest in the experiences of international students has increased,
the theoretical frameworks that are used to explain their experiences (such
as culture shock, models of acculturation, cultural learning or intercultural
dimensions) all share a tendency to use culture to explain behavior, denying
agency, and leaving changes in the way that subjects engage with the world
poorly explained. Using Margaret Archer’s concept of reflexivity (2003,
2007, 2012), this study shows how participants’ agency changes as a direct
result of their experiences as international students. Drawing on casestudies
of two students at a university in the southwest of England, this
article shows that subjects must confront new constraints and opportunities,
compelling them into reflexive deliberation, necessitating a change in
agency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Pages (from-to)332-350
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of International Students
Volume8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • culture
  • structure
  • agency
  • international students
  • reflexivity

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