Article published in:Social and Cultural Aspects of Language Learning in Study Abroad
Edited by Celeste Kinginger
[Language Learning & Language Teaching 37] 2013
► pp. 127–154
An American in Paris
Myth, desire, and subjectivity in one student’s account of study abroad in France
As “island” study abroad programs (Goodwin & Nacht 1988) increase in popularity, critics suggest that the student participants are merely cocooning themselves in an insulated community wherein they recreate American cultural practices and identities. That is, these students see their term abroad as ultimately about themselves, and this self-obsession is deemed proof of an intransigent American habitus (Bourdieu 1984). In this chapter, I examine how an American undergraduate accounts for her experiences in an island program in Paris. While at first this student’s testimony seems to confirm the dire predictions outlined above, in the end I draw on post-structuralist theories of subjectivity (Kramsch 2009) to demonstrate that this student’s deeply personal subject positionings transcend any ostensibly American identities.
Published online: 31 July 2013
Cited by other publications
Van Mensel, Luk & Julie Deconinck
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