“They Make No Contribution!” versus “We Should Make Friends with Them!”—American Domestic Students’ Perception of Chinese International Students’ Reticence and Face

  • Yi Zhu Michigan State University, United States
  • Mary Bresnahan Michigan State University, United States
Keywords: American domestic students, Chinese international students, classroom communication, competence, intercultural communication competence, positive and negative face, reticence, stigma

Abstract

This project examined both quantitative and qualitative data about how American domestic undergraduates perceived Chinese international students’ (CISs) reticence and face concerns. A quasi-experimental design about American students’ ratings of a fictional CIS described in scenarios demonstrated that the reticent CIS was rated as more typical, less likable, and less socially-approved. A thematic analysis of American students’ impression about CISs suggested: 1) some Americans stigmatized CISs due to their poor English and reticence in classroom; 2) others were more open-minded to approach CISs’ reticence with intercultural communication competence by taking CISs’ perspective. The findings indicated: the stereotype that typical CISs are reticent leads to Americans’ negative evaluations of CISs; while perspective-taking skills resulted in better intercultural-communication experience.

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Author Biographies

Yi Zhu, Michigan State University, United States

YI ZHU, M.A. (Corresponding Author) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Communication at Michigan State University and his research focuses on intercultural and stigma communication. 

Mary Bresnahan, Michigan State University, United States

MARY BRESNAHAN, Ph.D. is a full Professor in the Department of Communication at Michigan State University and her research focuses on intercultural, stigma, and health communication. 

Published
2018-10-01
How to Cite
Zhu, Y., & Bresnahan, M. (2018). “They Make No Contribution!” versus “We Should Make Friends with Them!”—American Domestic Students’ Perception of Chinese International Students’ Reticence and Face. Journal of International Students, 8(4), 1614–1635. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v8i4.221
Section
Research Articles