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Patriotism Abroad: Overseas Chinese Students’ Encounters With Criticisms of China

Henry Chiu Hail, Patriotism Abroad: Overseas Chinese Students’ Encounters Whit Criticisms of China, Journal of Studies in International Education, European Association for International Education, 2015. ISSN: 1028-3153.

This book explores the interaction between host country students and international students, and the tensions that could arise due to misinformation and prejudices. Drawing on interviews and open-ended surveys of Chinese students at an American university, this study shows a variety of positive and negative cross-national interactions and uses social identity theory to explain why tensions may arise. Negative reactions to hearing criticism of one’s home country are often motivated by concerns for status, loyalty, harmony, or utilitarian politics. However, fostering a common group identity and the perception of mutual benevolence among students from different countries can promote positive cross-national interaction. Furthermore, international students may learn more about democracy and human rights through observing the host society rather than directly discussing these topics with host country members.