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The sense of identity of West African students: an inter-cultural comparison of West African students studying in their own countries and in the United Kingdom with special reference to the impact of foreign experience

Cross, Crispin Patric Robert (1969) The sense of identity of West African students: an inter-cultural comparison of West African students studying in their own countries and in the United Kingdom with special reference to the impact of foreign experience. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Abstract

A relatively large number of studies have been dona on identity and its role in personalty functioning. A similarly large number of studies have been carried out on foreign students from different countries different host countries. But none has been undertaken on west African students in the United Kingdom nor has any study been made of the impact which foreign experience has on their sense of identity. The object of the work reported in this volume then, is to explore this impact, to study the reactions which the students develop in response and to show that an interdisciplinary approach -combining in this case sociology and psychology' - can contribute a to a comprehensive understanding of the affect of different environments'on the human personality. This research proJect was originally designed to lay the groundwork for future research into mental illness end concomitant personality changes among foreign students. The main research instrument used was a questionnaire containing a constructed and validated measure of identity which was given to 422 west African students -231 exper1mentals who are studying in the UK and 191 controls who are studying in institutions in their home countries. The material reported in this volume is based on their responses. In addition, we illustrate our discussion with material drawn from pilot interviews and validation pre-tests. # Our findings provide information on students' experience of social and psychological problems and the effect which these have on their sense of identity, their reactions to these problems and the resultant effect of the sojourn experience on their attitudes. In addition, our findings indicate certain directions which personality changes take consequent upon an extended period of sojourn 'abroad'. In sum, the survey suggests that not all aspects of the sojourn and, indeed, pre-soJourn experiences of the students are significant for personality functioning in the host environment and that individual differences ,are as important in understanding the effect of foreign experience on the personality as are similarities. finally, we outline (on the basis of our findings) some qualifications which future research on cross-cultural educational travel would have to take into account. The thesis is organised into three parts. In Part I we discuss various preliminary considerations and go on to review previous studies pertaining to the work in Part II. We describe the experiment and results in Part III.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1969 Crispin Patric Robert Cross
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
L Education > L Education (General)
Supervisor: Newfield, Gabriel and Homes, Roger
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3991

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