Title : Crossing cultural boundaries with a cuppa: a case study of cultural wellbeing within a postgraduate peer circle

Authors : Sherridan Emery, Halyna Pavlyshyn, Mohsen Hedayati, Shakila Nur

Abstract : International postgraduate students often experience lack of cultural and social exposure which can lead to the decreased participation in collaborative projects. This, combined with a strong focus on their own research projects can create difficulties in finding common ground for scholarly cooperation. Furthermore, cultural diversity amongst postgraduate students can exacerbate academic isolation. The question pursued in this small-scale research study is how does interaction within a culturally diverse peer circle of postgraduate students contribute to cultural wellbeing? This paper reports on a qualitative case study conducted at one Australian university by a self-organised group of postgraduate students. Interviews and participants’ reflections were thematically analysed and discussed in relation to Bourdieu’s theories of capital and Hofstede’s sociolinguistic theory of cultural dimensions. The results of the case study reveal the ways in which the weekly “Australian Tea” peer circle enhanced the social and cultural capital of participating students while also creating opportunities for effective research collaborations. The study highlights the importance of cross-cultural interaction for the cultural wellbeing of both international and domestic postgraduate students.

Journal : Volume : Year : 2016 Issue :
Pages : City : Edition : Editors :
Publisher : ISBN : Book : Chapter :
Proceeding Title : Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2016: transforming education research Institution : Issuer : Number :