A Cultural Psychological Approach to Analyze Intercultural Learning: Potential and Limits of the Structure Formation Technique

Doris Weidemann


Despite the huge interest in sojourner adjustment, there is still a lack of qualitative as well as of longitudinal research that would offer more detailed insights into intercultural learning processes during overseas stays. The present study aims to partly fill that gap by documenting changes in knowledge structures and general living experiences of fifteen German sojourners in Taiwan in a longitudinal, cultural-psychological study. As part of a multimethod design a structure formation technique was used to document subjective theories on giving/losing face and their changes over time. In a second step results from this study are compared to knowledge-structures of seven long-term German residents in Taiwan, and implications for the conceptualization of intercultural learning will be proposed. Finally, results from both studies serve to discuss the potential and limits of structure formation techniques in the field of intercultural communication research.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901435


intercultural learning; subjective theories; lay theories; structure formation technique; Taiwan; China; adjustment; face; Germany

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-10.1.1246

Copyright (c) 2009 Doris Weidemann

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