An ethnographic study of mainland Chinese students in the United States : assimilation, segregation and difficult choices
The major issues of People's Republic of China Chinese students' assimilation to the US culture and their segregation from the culture are discussed in this thesis. I explored the factors influencing assimilation of Chinese students: achieving success in American terms, lack of culture awareness and belief in American hegemony. The factors influencing segregation of Chinese students are: sense of inferiority, sense of frustration, perception of what Chinese students believe about Americans, and the treatment from Americans. A historical reference of "Working-study Movement in France” is used to demonstrate its impact on the current Chinese students who are studying in the United States. The discussions on these issues provide an understanding of what is happening to the PRC Chinese students in this country. The findings show that assimilation results in students' personal growth and critical learning from this country; on the other hand, it also results in the students' strong Americanization. Segregation results from the students' cultural characteristic and their unpleasant experience of stepping into the society. Regarding the issue of going back home or staying in this country, I find that the June 4th Tiananmen incident impacts the students' attitudes very much. They don't want to go home right now because of the political situation since June 4th 1990, but they want to go home later if things change.