Globalisation, identity, and nation: Australian and American undergraduates abroad

Abstract

In this essay, I explore how two groups of undergraduates — Americans and Australians — participate in the reformulation of the “global imagination” through their experiences of studying abroad. Specifically, I question the assumption that the global imagination constitutes one shared, common experience that is the same across nations. In contrast, I demonstrate that though American and Australian students are certainly among the elite in global terms, their shared economic position does not necessarily correspond to a common global imagination. Instead, they have markedly different notions of both national and global identities. American students’ strong national identity often prevents them from exploring the possibilities of global affiliation. Australian students’ relatively weak national identity allows for a robust global sense of place, but is sometimes constrained by a limited tolerance for racial and ethnic diversity. In conclusion, I argue that the global imagination has not one, but numerous manifestations, which have the potential to both enable and constrain the enhancement of justice and democracy in a global context.

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Dolby, N. Globalisation, identity, and nation: Australian and American undergraduates abroad. Aust. Educ. Res. 32, 101–117 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03216815

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Keywords

  • National Identity
  • American Student
  • Global Citizenship
  • Australian Student
  • Global Imagination