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2013 - International Communication Association Pages: unavailable || Words: 10010 words || 
1. McKay-Semmler, Kelly. and Semmler, Shane. "Cultivating Host Receptivity and Host Conformity Pressure: Exploring Media Use and Host Attitudes on Immigration" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Hilton Metropole Hotel, London, England, Jun 17, 2013 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-11-21 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Kim's (2001) integrative theory of cross-cultural adaptation identifies environmental factors that affect the adaptation process of cultural strangers. This study explores the relationship between two of Kim's environmental factors, host receptivity and host conformity pressure, and host community members’ media use. Employing cultivation analysis (Gerbner & Gross, 1976), it is hypothesized that local television news influences host community members' levels of host receptivity and host conformity pressure with respect to a local immigrant population. Although the content analytic results are ambiguous, survey results indicate that pessimistic coverage of immigration is associated with lower levels of host receptivity. The effects of the tone of news coverage on host conformity pressure were also mixed. This study provides additional knowledge about factors that influence the host communication environment, which has the potential to affect the adaptation process of newcomers.

2014 - International Communication Association 64th Annual Conference Pages: unavailable || Words: 6883 words || 
2. Chen, Ling. and Feng, Guangchao. "Communication, Perceived Host Acceptance, and Host Conformity Pressure: Another Study of Host Environment and Non-Chinese Ethnic Members in Hong Kong" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 64th Annual Conference, Seattle Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, Washington, May 21, 2014 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-11-21 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This follow-up study focused on the social environment of Hong Kong as a host culture to non-Chinese members of the society and investigated the role of communication in cross-cultural adaptation. The study set out to confirm measurement of two environmental factors found in the last study: (a) host acceptance and (b) host conformity pressure, then examined the two factors along with possible correlates of host communication competence, host communication satisfaction, and satisfaction with life. A sample of 140 respondents was recruited in a street-survey, including Indians, Pakistanis, Indonesians, Whites and some other ethnic group members. Perceived host environmental factors, along with host communication factors, are confirmed in CFA. Hierarchy regression with host acceptance and host conformity pressure replicated the earlier findings that the two factors predicted satisfaction with life in the same direction. MANCOVA of participants of high and low host communication competence yielded significant overall effect and effects on host acceptance, host conformity pressure, host communication satisfaction and life. The findings are discussed regarding theoretical contribution and future studies.

2018 - Comparative and International Education Society Conference Words: 813 words || 
3. DeMatteo, Kaia. "Inclusion of host family perspectives: Examining experiences through the lens of homestay hosts in a Kiswahili program in Tanzania" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Conference, Hilton Mexico City Reforma Hotel, Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 25, 2018 <Not Available>. 2019-11-21 <>
Publication Type: CIES New Scholar Fellow Proposal
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Applicant: PhD Candidate, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Angi Stone-MacDonald

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the perspectives and experiences of families who host foreign college students in a Kiswahili program in Tanzania. The homestay is a growing phenomenon in foreign language education abroad, and with it carries motivations, challenges, and benefits for host families not only in popular destinations but also in non-traditional locations including Africa. Previous research on hosts’ perspectives and experiences are limited to popular study destinations, largely Spanish speaking countries (Engel, 2011; Peterson, 2007; Stephenson, 1999), leaving open questions about the sociocultural and economic dynamics of host families in non-traditional destinations such as Tanzania. This qualitative study will focus on the inclusion of homestay hosts perspectives in a non-traditional location by examining how and where their motivations, challenges and benefits of hosting parallel or differ from those families in Spanish-speaking countries and popular destinations.

Research Questions:
Overarching question: What are the perspectives and experiences of host families involved in a homestay with a Kiswahili program in Tanzania?
• What are the motivations for Tanzanian host families to participate as homestay hosts?
• What are the sociocultural and economic challenges and benefits of the homestay experience on the host family in Tanzania?
• How can the perspectives of host families contribute to future homestay program planning and development in a non-traditional destination?

Thesis: Tanzania is one non-traditional destination that is becoming a hub for Kiswahili study and cultural immersion, and homestays offer close engagement with locals and exposure to critical environmental, public health, and social justice issues within the changing sociocultural and economic landscape of a developing country. The experience, however, also involves significant sociocultural and economic outcomes for host families that are not fully understood. There is a need for further inquiry into the perceptions of families who host students in a non-traditional setting, and the ways that hosts make meaning from their experiences so that they can be better supported to align their goals and interests with the program (Biraimah & Jotia, 2015; Peterson, 2007; Wells, 2006; Woolf, 2006). Findings on host families will help inform the literature with implications to assist program administrators in working through challenges and benefits of homestay hosts and support future program planning, development, and reciprocal exchange in non-traditional destinations.

Framework: This research utilizes a conceptual framework incorporating phenomenological inquiry and grounded theory analysis. Using this framework, this study seeks to dismantle the dominant narrative limited to homestay hosts’ perspectives in foreign language education abroad in popular destinations. Phenomenology supports the inquiry process of this dissertation, acknowledging the lived experiences of host families (Byrne, 2001; Creswell, 2013; Engel, 2011; Moustakas, 1994; Polkinghorne, 2005; van Manen, 1997). Grounded theory analysis will enable new concepts to emerge from the data. Discovering host families’ experiences and understanding their roles will inform the literature and praxis, with implications for future program planning.

Methodology: This qualitative study uses phenomenological inquiry to explain the knowledge transfer components (Byrne, 2001; Creswell, 2013; Groenewald, 2004; Moustakas, 1994; van Manen, 1997) and grounded theory techniques to analyze and interpret the data in developing emergent concepts. Data will be collected from individual interviews and a review of documents. Host families and the program coordinator will be recruited using purposive sampling through criterion sampling with the assistance of a gatekeeper to gather data. Sample size will be 10-15 participants. After obtaining consent, I will conduct semi-structured interviews over multiple visits to ask additional questions and apply member checking for participants to verify information and offer feedback (Creswell, 2013; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Saldaña & Omasta, 2017). I will also review program reports and materials to identify relevant aspects of the homestay phenomenon and the roles of host families. Gathering data from more than one method provides additional data to support multiple perspectives, triangulation, credibility, and validity. With these insights, I will analyze data using grounded theory techniques, including constant comparison, coding, defining general themes, and evaluating them conceptually and theoretically. I will then use my findings to formulate concepts, a model, or a theoretical description of the phenomenon (Miles, Huberman & Saldaña, 2013; Saldaña, 2016; Strauss & Corbin, 1990).

Stage: I defended my dissertation proposal on September 8, 2017. I am currently in the early data collection phase, and I plan to be in the later data collection stage during the conference. I believe that this stage will benefit greatly from mentor/peer feedback to help prepare me for the final data collection, data analysis and writing phases.

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