Friendship Within and Across Borders

First-Year International Students of Color’s Perceptions of Social Networks

Authors

  • Kaleb L. Briscoe Mississippi State University
  • Christina W. Yao University of South Carolina https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7572-0318
  • Evangela Q. Oates Westchester Community College
  • Jennifer N. Rutt University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Kathleen J. Buell University of Wyoming

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v12i1.3353

Keywords:

international students of Color, social networks, first-year, predominantly white institutions, language

Abstract

Establishing social networks can be extremely challenging when international students, particularly those of Color, move to a new academic and social environment. We examined first-year international students of Color perceptions of their social networks and how these networks affect their experiences at a predominantly White institution (PWI). This study illuminated participants' relationships with U.S. domestic students and the power of language, culture, and shared experiences through a longitudinal narrative inquiry. Implications for practice and recommendations for future research are described in-depth for practitioners.

Author Biographies

Kaleb L. Briscoe, Mississippi State University

Kaleb L. Briscoe, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership – Student Affairs and Higher Education. Her research agenda focuses on problematizes oppressed and marginalized populations within higher education through critical theoretical frameworks and qualitative methodological approaches. Through her scholarship on campus racial climate, she seeks to disrupt whiteness and white supremacy on predominantly white campuses. Her research shapes administrators, specifically university presidents' responses to race and racism, by challenging their use of anti-Blackness and non-performative rhetoric. 

Christina W. Yao, University of South Carolina

Christina W. Yao, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Program Coordinator for the Higher Education and Student Affairs Master’s program at the University of South Carolina. She is a qualitative researcher who primarily studies student engagement and learning in higher education. She operationalizes her research focus through three connected topical areas, including: international/comparative education, teaching and learning, and graduate education. Some current projects include a collaborative study on graduate students’ international scholar-practitioner development, graduate student teaching and learning in Vietnam, and the college transition process for international students of Color.

Evangela Q. Oates, Westchester Community College

Evangela Q. Oates, Ph.D., educator, and adjunct librarian at Westchester Community College, is a recent graduate of the Educational Leadership and Higher Education program in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.  For the last 15 years, she has worked in various positions in academic libraries spanning all institutional types. Following a critical constructivist paradigm, her research has primarily used critical frameworks and methodological approaches that center lived experience.  Community colleges, Black faculty and administrators, and academic librarianship are her main research interests.

 

Jennifer N. Rutt, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Jennifer N. Rutt, Ph.D., is a professional evaluator and qualitative specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research focuses on identity in international education, minority health disparities, qualitative research and evaluation methodology, as well as survey design. Some current projects include exploring how ethnic identity is informed by studying abroad in a country/culture connected to heritage, the college transition process for international students of Color, disparate outcomes for minoritized populations through evidenced-based programming, and how to appropriately and accurately measure gender identity in surveys.

Kathleen J. Buell, University of Wyoming

Kathleen J. Buell, M.A., is a residence life professional at the University of Wyoming. She has worked in a variety of functional areas of student affairs, including study abroad, student conduct, international student support, and residence life. Her current research project includes the first-year transition process for international students of Color, and past research efforts have included the National Peer Educator Survey and the history of living-learning programs on college campuses. Her research interests include women and gender in higher education, professional practice in student affairs, students with multiple marginalities, and student affairs as trauma work.

References

Andrews, M., Squire, C., & Tamboukou, M. (2013). Doing narrative research (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications.

Bailey, E. K. (2017). ‘I am studying in the US but’: Observations and insights from Caribbean college students. Social Identities, 23(1), 87–103. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504630.2016.1179568

Bochner, S., McLeod, B. M., & Lin, A. (1977). Friendship patterns of overseas students: A functional model. International Journal of Psychology, 12(4), 277-294. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207597708247396

Brustein, W. I. (2007). The global campus: Challenges and opportunities for higher education in North America. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(3-4), 382-391. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315307303918

Centola, D., Gonzalez-Avella, J. C., Eguiluz, V. M., & San Miguel, M. (2007). Homophily, cultural drift, and the co-evolution of cultural groups. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 51(6), 905–929. doi:10.1177/0022002707307632

Clandinin, D. J., & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. Jossey-Bass.

Deardorff, D. K. (2006). Identification and assessment of intercultural competency as a student outcome of internationalization. Journal of Studies in International Education, 10(3), 241-266. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315306287002

Duster, T. (1991). The diversity project: Final report. Berkeley: Institute for the Study

of Social Change, University of California, Berkeley.

Fries-Britt, S., George Mwangi, C. A., & Peralta, A. M. (2014). Learning race in a US Context: An emergent framework on the perceptions of race among foreign-born students of color. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 7(1)1-13. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035636

Gareis, E. (2012). Intercultural friendship: Effects of home and host region. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 5(4), 309-328. https://doi.org/10.1080/17513057.2012.691525

George Mwangi, C. A., Daoud, N., Peralta, A., & Fries-Britt, S. (2019). Waking from the American dream: Conceptualizing racial activism and critical consciousness among black immigrant college students. Journal of College Student Development, 60(4), 401–420. 10.1353/csd.2019.0037

Glass, C. R. (2012). Educational experiences associated with international students’ learning, development, and positive perceptions of campus climate. Journal of Studies in International Education, 16(3), 228-251. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315311426783

Glass, C. R., & Westmont, C. M. (2014). Comparative effects of belongingness on the academic success and cross-cultural interactions of domestic and international students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 38, 106-119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2013.04.004

Gomes, C. (2015). Negotiating everyday life in Australia: Unpacking the parallel society inhabited by Asian international students through their social networks and entertainment media use. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(4), 515–536. https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2014.992316

Gomez, E., Urzua, A. & Glass, C.R. (2014). International student adjustment to college: Social networks, acculturation, and leisure. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 32(1), 7-25.

Groenewald, T. (2008). Memos and memoing. The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods, 2, 505-506. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781412963909.n260

Hayes, R. L., & Lin, H. R. (1994). Coming to America: Developing social support systems for international students. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 22(1), 7-16. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1912.1994.tb00238.x

Hendrickson, B., Rosen, D., & Aune, R. K. (2011). An analysis of friendship networks, social connectedness, homesickness, and satisfaction levels of international students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35(3), 281-295. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2010.08.001

Hotta, J., & Ting-Toomey, S. (2013). Intercultural adjustment and friendship dialectics in international students: A qualitative study. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37(5), 550-566. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2013.06.007

Kezar, A. (2014). Higher education change and social networks: A review of research. The Journal of Higher Education, 85(1), 91-125. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2014.11777320

Kim, J. H. (2016). Understanding narrative inquiry: The crafting and analysis of stories as research. SAGE Publications.

Lal, S., Suto, M., & Ungar, M. (2012). Examining the potential of combining the methods of grounded theory and narrative inquiry: A comparative analysis. The Qualitative Report, 17(21), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2012.1767

Lee, J. J., & Rice, C. (2007). Welcome to America? International student perceptions of discrimination. Higher Education, 53(3), 381-409. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-005-4508-3

Li, S., & Zizzi, S. (2018). A case study of international students’ social adjustment, friendship development, and physical activity. Journal of International Students, 8(1), 389-408. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v8i1.171

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Sage Publications.

Merola, R. H., Coelen, R. J., & Hofman, W. H. A. (2019). The Role of Integration in Understanding Differences in Satisfaction Among Chinese, Indian, and South Korean International Students. Journal of Studies in International Education, 23(5), 535-553. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315319861355

McFaul, S. (2016). International students’ social network: Network mapping to gage friendship formation and student engagement on campus. Journal of International Studies 6(1),1-13. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v6i1.393

McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., & Cook, J. M. (2001). Birds of a feather: Homophily in social networks. Annual Review of Sociology, 27, 415–444. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.27.1.415 https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.27.1.415

Merriam, S. B., & Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation (4th ed.). Jossey-Bass.

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). SAGE Publications.

Pedersen, P. (1991). Counseling international students. The Counseling Psychologist, 19, 10-58. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000091191002

Polkinghorne, D. E. (2007). Validity issues in narrative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 13(4), 471–486. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800406297670

Rienties, B., & Nolan, E. M. (2014). Understanding friendship and learning networks of international and host students using longitudinal Social Network Analysis. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 41, 165-180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2013.12.003

Robinson, O., Somerville, K., & Walsworth, S. (2020). Understanding friendship formation between international and host-national students in a Canadian university. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 13(1), 49-70. https://doi.org/10.1080/17513057.2019.1609067

Romero, M. (1981). Multicultural reality: The pain of growth. The Personnel and Guidance Journal, 59,384-386. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2164-4918.1981.tb00576.x

Rose-Redwood, C. R., & Rose-Redwood, R. S. (2013). Self-segregation or global mixing?: Social interactions and the international student experience. Journal of College Student Development, 54(4), 413-429. https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.2013.0062

Saldaña, J. (2016). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (3rd ed.). Sage Publications.

Sanchez, D. (2013). Racial and ego identity development in Black Caribbean college students. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 6(2), 115-126. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031684

Schmitt, M. T., Spears, R., & Branscombe, N. R. (2003). Constructing a minority group identity out of shared rejection: The case of international students. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33(1), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.131

Stromquist, N. P., & Monkman, K. (2000). Globalization and education: Integration and contestation across cultures (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield.

Thomas, S. L. (2000). Ties that bind: A social network approach to understanding student integration and persistence. The Journal of Higher Education, 71(5), 591-615. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2000.11778854

Trice, A. G. (2004). Mixing it up: International graduate students' social interactions with American students. Journal of College Student Development, 45(6), 671-687. doi:10.1353/csd.2004.0074

Wang, C. C. D., & Mallinckrodt, B. (2006). Acculturation, attachment, and psychosocial adjustment of Chinese/Taiwanese international students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53(4), 422-433. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.53.4.422

Westwood, M. J., & Barker, M. (1990). Academic achievement and social adaptation among international students: A comparison groups study of the peer-pairing program. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 14(2), 251-263. https://doi.org/10.1016/0147-1767(90)90008-K

Yeo, H. T., Mendenhall, R., Harwood, S. A., & Huntt, M. B. (2019). Asian international student and Asian American student: Mistaken identity and racial microaggressions. Journal of International Students, 9(1), 39–65. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v9i1.278

Ying, Y. W., & Han, M. (2006). The contribution of personality, acculturative stressors, and social affiliation to adjustment: A longitudinal study of Taiwanese students in the United States. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 30(5), 623-635. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2006.02.001

Published

2021-07-09

How to Cite

Briscoe, K. L., Yao, C., Oates, E., Rutt, J. N., & Buell, K. (2021). Friendship Within and Across Borders: First-Year International Students of Color’s Perceptions of Social Networks. Journal of International Students, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v12i1.3353

Issue

Section

Research Articles