Representation of European identity in multiparty incoming and outgoing erasmus students’ discourses

Okur, Seda
Based on 10 hours of video recordings of 30 Erasmus exchange students, this study aims at uncovering how students who have experienced the Erasmus program talk about European identity in contrast to their national identities in multiparty conversations. The discourse data sets used for the analysis were comprised of (a) incoming European, (b) outgoing Turkish, and (c) mixed (i.e. both incoming and outgoing) Erasmus student conversations. Informed by Social Identity Theory (Tajfel, 1978), the three datasets were analyzed in terms of their indexical inclusive/exclusive pronoun use (i.e., we versus they) and positive/negative evaluation based representation of other at the level of nation. Similar to the other studies in the literature, the analysis shows that while the incoming students use we to refer to Europeans and they to refer to Turkish people by othering them, the outgoing students uses we to refer to Turkish people by excluding themselves from the rest of the Europeans. Besides, general evaluatives used by incoming students about Turkish people were almost always positive while there were evaluatives of both types for different European countries. As a result, the study has revealed that the Erasmus program for outgoing students does not promote the development of a European identity as we-feeling is not reflected in students’ pronoun use and general evaluative terms. However, the program fosters the development of such an identity for incoming Erasmus students as we-feeling (in-groupness; Tajfel, 1978) to refer to Europeans is reflected in their discourse.
Citation Formats
S. Okur, “Representation of European identity in multiparty incoming and outgoing erasmus students’ discourses,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2016.