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Internationalizing the Curriculum: Study Abroad as a Tool for Redefining and Reconstructing National Identity in a Global Context
Unformatted Document Text:  France & Rogers 3 national identity. Secondly, we review Dolby’s national identity framework and its relevance for the discussion of nation and national identity. Thirdly, we present our methodology and analysis of the student interviews on encountering their American self while studying in Cuba. Finally, we draw some conclusions about what study abroad experiences might hold for promoting the ideal of global citizenship. Nationalism, Commodification and Study Abroad American study abroad programs continue to be sold and advertised within the context of a nationalist narrative. This nationalist narrative takes note of both the challenges of the global economy and security concerns America faces. However, the narrative posited by American leaders tends to lean heavily towards emphasizing what Craig Calhoun refers to as a rather “economistic imaginary” (2002, p.147). This imaginary suggest that if nations expect to be prosperous and to compete successfully in the global economy they have little choice but to adopt and embrace free market principles. Hence if the United States is to continue its global hegemony it needs a workforce that can quickly achieve global literacy and competence skills. As a result, advocates of study abroad programs in higher education have teamed up with U.S. government officials to promote what Mell Bolen calls a “mass market ideology” to promote study abroad programs (2001). This campaign is clearly represented in an international education policy statement made by President Clinton in 2000, which states, “To continue to compete successfully in a global economy and to maintain our role as a world leader, the united States needs to ensure that its citizens develop a broad understanding of the world, proficiency in other languages, and knowledge of other cultures” (in Bolen 2001, p.186). This statement reinforces the economistic imaginary that America’s future and well-being depends on competing CIRCULATION OF THIS PAPER IS NOT PERMITTED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE AUTHORS.

Authors: France, Hollis. and Rogers, Kaylee.
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France & Rogers 3
national identity. Secondly, we review Dolby’s national identity framework and its relevance for
the discussion of nation and national identity. Thirdly, we present our methodology and analysis
of the student interviews on encountering their American self while studying in Cuba. Finally,
we draw some conclusions about what study abroad experiences might hold for promoting the
ideal of global citizenship.
Nationalism, Commodification and Study Abroad
American study abroad programs continue to be sold and advertised within the
context of a nationalist narrative. This nationalist narrative takes note of both the challenges of
the global economy and security concerns America faces. However, the narrative posited by
American leaders tends to lean heavily towards emphasizing what Craig Calhoun refers to as a
rather “economistic imaginary” (2002, p.147). This imaginary suggest that if nations expect to be
prosperous and to compete successfully in the global economy they have little choice but to
adopt and embrace free market principles. Hence if the United States is to continue its global
hegemony it needs a workforce that can quickly achieve global literacy and competence skills.
As a result, advocates of study abroad programs in higher education have teamed up with U.S.
government officials to promote what Mell Bolen calls a “mass market ideology” to promote
study abroad programs (2001). This campaign is clearly represented in an international education
policy statement made by President Clinton in 2000, which states, “To continue to compete
successfully in a global economy and to maintain our role as a world leader, the united States
needs to ensure that its citizens develop a broad understanding of the world, proficiency in other
languages, and knowledge of other cultures” (in Bolen 2001, p.186). This statement reinforces
the economistic imaginary that America’s future and well-being depends on competing
CIRCULATION OF THIS PAPER IS NOT PERMITTED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE AUTHORS.


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