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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 7 experience holds the promise that American students will be able to question these assumptions of solidarity and unity. American students’ interactions abroad, in many ways, begin the process whereby they critically question their American identity. In many respects, it is by traveling outside of the United States that they become aware of their American identity. A phenomenon that Dolby defines as a change from a passively, within the borders of the nation-state, to an actively operating American identity. As a result students do not simply discard their attachment to America as the nation, “even if its myths, contents, and excesses are easily debunked” (Calhoun, 2002, p.150). But instead, as Dolby notes, “individuals are actively, and continuously, remaking their relationship to (in this case) their nation, forging, for example new ways of being American” (2007, p.146). In other words, through the study abroad experience American students are engaged in authoring and producing a new national identity, one that is capable of transcending national boundaries: the nation. National Identity This institutional approach to study abroad reinforces an idea that globalization is an unyielding and necessary force being thrust upon the state and its citizens, and that both must adapt lifestyles and practices—even definition—on its terms. Succumbing to the pressures of free market economics, nations have no choice but to adopt such a capital-oriented approach to this new global schema; it is deemed necessary for their own survival. This passive stance toward transnational forces also assumes that former notions of self and nationhood are at odds with an emerging global identity, a global identity that has been defined on American economistic terms. Within this limited approach, national identity is considered to be “backward or outmoded, [an] imposition of the past on the present” (Calhoun, 2002, p.148). Not only does the idea of national identity, or more specifically patriotism, seen as at odds with this emerging 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 7
experience holds the promise that American students will be able to question these assumptions
of solidarity and unity. American students’ interactions abroad, in many ways, begin the process
whereby they critically question their American identity. In many respects, it is by traveling
outside of the United States that they become aware of their American identity. A phenomenon
that Dolby defines as a change from a passively, within the borders of the nation-state, to an
actively operating American identity. As a result students do not simply discard their attachment
to America as the nation, “even if its myths, contents, and excesses are easily
debunked” (Calhoun, 2002, p.150). But instead, as Dolby notes, “individuals are actively, and
continuously, remaking their relationship to (in this case) their nation, forging, for example new
ways of being American” (2007, p.146). In other words, through the study abroad experience
American students are engaged in authoring and producing a new national identity, one that is
capable of transcending national boundaries: the nation.
National Identity
This institutional approach to study abroad reinforces an idea that globalization is
an unyielding and necessary force being thrust upon the state and its citizens, and that both must
adapt lifestyles and practices—even definition—on its terms. Succumbing to the pressures of
free market economics, nations have no choice but to adopt such a capital-oriented approach to
this new global schema; it is deemed necessary for their own survival. This passive stance
toward transnational forces also assumes that former notions of self and nationhood are at odds
with an emerging global identity, a global identity that has been defined on American
economistic terms. Within this limited approach, national identity is considered to be “backward
or outmoded, [an] imposition of the past on the present” (Calhoun, 2002, p.148). Not only does
the idea of national identity, or more specifically patriotism, seen as at odds with this emerging
CIRCULATION OF THIS PAPER IS NOT PERMITTED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE AUTHORS.


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