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Interculturality on a diverse Australian campus: Identity and interaction

Fozdar, F. (2012) Interculturality on a diverse Australian campus: Identity and interaction. In: Tsolidis, G., (ed.) Identities in Transition. Brill, pp. 41-53.

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Australian universities are sites of considerable cultural diversity, due to large numbers of international students studying together with domestic students of diverse backgrounds. While this should provide an opportunity for intercultural interactions and the nurturing of cosmopolitan identities, more often than not, these opportunities are not embraced. This chapter explores results of an ARC (Australian Research Council) funded study of orientations to intercultural interactions among first year students starting university. Data are drawn from a survey (n=745) and a series of in-depth interviews. The findings indicate some ambivalence among the students, including a general positivity towards the idea of interaction, but reticence to make personal efforts to make the most of these opportunities. The chapter is an examination of the relationship between identity and orientations to making the most of opportunities available, looking particularly at those who positively negotiate hybrid identity positions to engage with those who could be seen as ‘culturally Other’. Implications for both ‘internationalised’ campuses, and ‘interculturality’ more broadly, are also discussed.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Brill
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