Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Speech Communication

Advisor

Sobre-Denton, Miriam S.

Abstract

International students, through a process of cross-cultural adaptation and acculturation, create a hybridized identity that helps them in their negotiation between different cultural membership roles. Hybrid cultural identity roles were detected in the participants to varying degrees, depending on age, the intention with which the student came to the United States, the exposure to American culture, and the social ties formed during the intercultural experience. Hybridization can pose potential struggles for the students which include, but are not limited to, identity confusion, displacement, and not knowing where one belongs. Social support systems, consisting of other international students, co-nationals, U.S. - American students, and family members and friends in the home culture proved to be essential in the students’ negotiation of hybridized cultural identity roles. Hybridization is regarded as a possibility of bridging different cultures and thus, bringing them closer together in a mutual dialogue.

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