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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3827

Title: The Experience of Migration and Acculturation for International Students As Expressed in the Handmade Book: A Phenomenological Study
Authors: Camilleri, Marya Frieda
Keywords: Art Therapy;International students;Acculturation;Handmade books;Migration;Books
Issue Date: 20-Aug-2012
Abstract: The purpose of this research study was to explore the lived experience of migration and acculturation for international students as expressed through the handmade book and open-ended responsive interview. A review of the literature included a historical background of immigration in the United States, an explanation of culture and cultural adjustment processes, a review of acculturation concerns that have been experienced by international students in the United States, a review of this population’s utilization of services and preferences for culturally relevant approaches, and an explanation of art therapy—and the handmade book in particular—as a culturally relevant technique for addressing migration, acculturation, and other life transitions. The literature review revealed that there is a need for more systematic research on the use of art therapy methods—particularly the handmade book—with international students. This study used a phenomenological method to collect and analyze data, and enrolled four international students. All participants described their ethnicity or ancestry as Asian. The sample consisted of one female participant from Korea, and two female participants and one male participant from India. Participants ranged in age from 22 to 26, and they had lived in the U.S. for a range of approximately 1 to 6 years. Each participant created a handmade book about his or her migration and acculturation experiences and then participated in an open-ended responsive interview. The data analysis resulted in the identification of five composite essential structures. The artwork and verbal responses of all four participants reflected experiences of (a) remaining strongly rooted in family, values, and culture of origin, while branching out and adapting to a new culture; (b) sacrificing comfort and protection to explore, discover, achieve, and gain independence; (c) coping with transition and distance from family through social supports and new experiences; (d) integrating diverse personality traits and experiences into one piece of artwork; and (e) finding a voice through metaphors. Based on the composite essential structures, recommendations for applications of the handmade book include culturally relevant support services for international students on college campuses. The handmade book is also recommended for immigrants, refugees, and other individuals, groups, couples, or families experiencing life transitions. Future studies on the handmade book are recommended, with larger, more diverse samples of participants.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3827
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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