Block and thread intercultural narratives and positioning: conversations with newly arrived postgraduate students

Amadasi, S. and Holliday, A. (2017) Block and thread intercultural narratives and positioning: conversations with newly arrived postgraduate students. Language and Intercultural Communication. pp. 1-16. ISSN 1470-8477.

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Abstract

This paper considers how, in the process of positioning that is implicit in every interaction, all of us employ multiple and often competing narratives when we talk about cultural identity and our relationships with new cultural environments. In interviews with newly arrived postgraduate students about their experience of travelling to study abroad, the students employ competing block and thread narratives. Block narratives represent an essentialist discourse of culture. As such, they are easily converted into cultural prejudice by blocking the possibility for understanding and sharing at the point of tolerating an Other who can never be like ‘us’. These are default narratives because of the way in which we are brought up in our societies within a global positioning and politics. Thread narratives instead support a critical cosmopolitan discourse of cultural travel and shared meanings across structural boundaries that act against cultural prejudice. Threads need to be nurtured as alternative forms of engagement. Therefore, there is a place for the researchers to intervene with their own thread narratives. This intervention is both allowed within and supported by an understanding that researchers join with their participants in the creative intercultural events of the interview.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education > LB2371 Graduate education
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Language Studies and Applied Linguistics
Depositing User: Prof Adrian Holliday
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2017 15:13
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2017 17:38
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/15434

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00