Taking Initiative and Constructing Identity: International Graduate Student Spouses Adjustment and Experiences in a University Town
Taking Initiative andConstructing IdentityInternational Graduate Student SpousesAdjustment and Experiences in a University Town
Project Background • Mid State Literacy Council, Amy Wilson, Director • Cultural and Current Events Community Group • Dr. Esther Prins, Associate Professor Adult Education • Kimeka Campbell PhD Candidate Adult Education and Comparative International Education (Dual Title)
Research Focus• International Graduate Student Spouses at Penn State• Understanding the social, academic, and cultural needs of IGSS• Investigating adjustment experiences, notions of sacrifice, and construction of identity that accompany significant role changes• Examining how IGSS overcome language, cultural, professio nal, and personal barriers to integration
Theoretical Framework• Sojourner Spouses (De Verthelyi, 1990)• Spouses of International Professionals ( Anderson, 2008)• International Undergraduate and Graduate Student Wives (Chen, 2009; Marten & Grant, 2009, Ostler, 1990)• Dr A. Yellig, Counsenling Psychologist. Dissertation work on IGSS. (Yellig, 2010)• International Sojourners to the United States (Ruetrakul, 1987)
Research Methods• Participant Background – 13 adults, 11 women, two men, ages 28- 55 – Taiwan, Columbia, Korea, China, Russia – 11 former professionals, two students – All at BA level, 12 at MA level or above• Research Questions: – How do IGSS enrolled in ESL classes describe adjustment to U.S. university town; in particular their social integration and changes in their roles and identities? – How do IGSS seek to gain entrée and navigate socials paces within their new community? – What to IGSS believe enabled and hindered their social integration?
Getting at IGSS Experience• Mapping Your Experience• Where IGSS spend the Most time (IGSS Maps)• Adjustment to New roles and New Community• Gaining Entrée and Navigating Social Spaces (Transcript)• Factors Enabling and Hindering Social Integration (Recording EE, 18:45)
IGSS MAPS HOME Mostly North Dr/Health of Campus Shopping Eating, Library, Downtown Coffee, ESL, Area Comm. Classes Sams, Wal-Mart, target, ross, Macy’sNittany mall, Weis, Wegman’s Religious PSU Culturally Institutions Connected Chinese, Place Korean, HUB, and American Patee, Churches Computer Building, Far Corners, Gym European Market, Cultural Restaurants