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Intercultural learning among community development students: positive attitudes, ambivalent experiences

Fozdar, F. and Volet, S. (2012) Intercultural learning among community development students: positive attitudes, ambivalent experiences. Community Development, 43 (3). pp. 361-378.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15575330.2011.621085
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Abstract

This article considers the orientations to diversity on campus, socially and in professional practice, of community development students at an Australian university. After outlining the curriculum foci of community development courses at Australian universities, it explores the ambivalences in students' generally positive orientations to diversity, but simultaneously complex attitudes to experiences of intercultural engagement, using qualitative and quantitative data. Community development students generally hold more positive outlooks in terms of engaging with diversity, compared to other first year students, including in their orientation to culturally mixed group work as part of their studies. However, while students are keen on the idea of mixed group work, they find the experience challenging. They are also reticent to see problems in terms of cultural differences, or to ‘see culture’ generally, a factor which has implications for contact and social identity theory. The article also considers the place of cultural identification in the interaction processes.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
Copyright: 2011 Community Development Society
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/8271
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