A visual and textual analysis of transnational identity formation and representation

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Daniel E. Chapman (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Leila Villaverde

Abstract: "This dissertation is an exploration of identity formation when crossing national boundaries and confronting disparate cultures and histories. Working with the assumption that identifying (or not) with local discourses informs behaviors and values, this study examines what questions emerge when one is immersed in discourses that were created beyond one's locality. Through weekly interviews with two exchange students who came to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro from Mexico, this inquiry explores how they situate themselves within and against their local discourses before, during and after the transnational experience. The author uses bricolage and brings together different ways of knowing: visual, textual, historical, personal, and analytical in order to explore this encounter with difference. Crossing national boundaries is an experience in which fixed notions are called into question through exposure to disharmonious realities. The purpose of using bricolage is to expose the readers to disharmony in hopes that their own questions emerge about the representation of culture and nature. Rather than leading the reader down a path in which an argument is built vertically, bricolage immerses the reader into a conversation and encourages the reader to make his or her own meaning in their engagement with the texts. By exploring the students' experiences through both a visual documentary and a textual discourse analysis, a comparison between the different forms of representation arises. Different questions and meanings emerge depending on which method the researcher is using. Different paradigms exist at the same time. The pedagogical implications challenge typical definitions of education. Rather than thinking about education as coming from an authority figure that has categorized phenomena for an audience to consume, this dissertation explores the educative experience of pulling apart fixed categories and meditating on the resulting dissonance. The former isolated notion of education complements the written media and the classroom environment. The latter notion considers visual media an important place to raise questions. It deems experience, i.e., traveling, educative and difficult questions central. And it regards considerations about the opportunities and limitations of visual texts, as well as, the opportunities and limitations of written texts as a priority."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2007
exploration, identity formation, crossing national boundaries, confronting, disparate cultures, histories
Identity (Philosophical concept)
International travel--Psychological aspects

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