International Student Identity

Topics: Second language, Student, Culture Pages: 6 (2105 words) Published: April 13, 2008
International student identity and its impact to the future

Identity is sort of behaviour that can be symbolized by individual or communities by showing how they interact to each other and how they represent their culture of origin. These essay will discuss and analyse some theories of indentity through culture and languange views and then show the reader how these lense might influence international student identity. The structure of essay will be organised as follows; First of all, introduction will explain an overview of it. This is followed by describing the theory of identity. The next section is about discussion of identity by using culture and language focuses. Furthermore, writer will explain the impact of new culture and language to international student’s current and future experience. Finally, a conslusion paragraph will be the final section of the essay.

What is Identity?
In last three decades, the theory of identity evolves continously. According to Borowski (1976, 501), identity does not have a definite concept. Many scholars explore what identity is. For example, in his paper, Burke and Reitzes (1981) summarise the work of McCall and Simmons (1966), Stryker (1968), and Burke and Tully (1977) to divide the concept of identity in three unique characteristics that are, identities are produced by society, identities are personal sense, and identities are spontaneous and representational character. This distinctive feature is obtained by an individual throughout childhood period to become his/her fundamental character (Sökefeld et. al. 1999, 2). Later on, Fearon (1999, 4) broadly explains that identity of a person can be defined as social identity (a person is recognised by “rules deciding membership and performed characteristic features or attributes”) and personal category (special feature, might be permanent, that make a person is looked important by society). Furthermore, Hall (1990, 222) argues that the theories of identity keep to be produced, “which is never complete, always in process and always constituted within, not outside, representation” In addition, there are still challenges to identity theory to have obvious meanings that related to self and society (Stryker and Burke 2000, 284).

Culture Identity
According to archaeological term (SAA 2008), culture means “a set of learned beliefs, values and behaviours the way of life shared by the members of a society.” It is performed because there is relationship between each of members (Ferdman 1990, 186). They usually gather in a group of society. For example, if some Javanese people (one of Indonesian ethnics) live outside of Indonesia, they tend to live in a place where other Javanese live. They interact with each other and applying Javanese’s values that they have before. These dispositions maintain and develop their values and applying it in their daily living. Other people who are not a member of that society might look this mind-set as culture identity of that society. In addition, Hall (1990, 229) argues that cultural identities are the special character that emerge from history and culture. For instance, culture identities of England and Ireland are quite same, because they have similar history and culture.

Cultural identity represents individual or group’s behaviour. According to Kochman (1987, 220 cited in Ferdman 1990, 190), cultural identity can be represented by ethnic and indirect link between an individual and the group. It has main value that the beliefs and act becomes a symbol of the group, and the member realise that he/she has direct relationship with the most important and unique part of their culture (Smolic 1981, 75-77 cited in Ferdman 1990, 190) . This value is simple, however its “malleability, imprecision, and multivocality”, make cultural identity become complicated (Cohen 1993, 202). Furthermore, it can be influenced by anything because of cultural identity is unstable (Hall 1990, 229).

Language Identity...
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