Society and Identity
Over the last decades, the international mobility of Chinese students has dramatically grown worldwide, including France (Campus France, 2016). The phenomenon can be explained by the social, economic, scientific, and political transformations of Chinese Government and the educational system in China. Nevertheless, the substantial cultural differences between China and France make adapting to the host culture a major challenge for many of these students.
The purpose of our study was to examine various aspects of how Chinese students studying and integrating in France, such as the psychosocial adjustment to new cultural and academic environment, the construction of cultural identity and the intercultural competencies. The combination of a quantitative (questionnaire survey) and a qualitative (interviewing) methods revealed the impact of cultural identity on social integration of Chinese students in France.
In the first quantitative research, two hundred sixteen Chinese students in France completed a questionnaire based on Berry’s (2013) Mutual Intercultural Relations In Plural Societies (MIRIPS) projet. The result showed that the maintain of Chinese identity can lead to have more frequent contacts with Chinese, an higher self-efficacy perceived but more psychological problems (depression and anxiety). In parallel, the preference for French identity could bring an higher self-efficacy perceived, a better capability dynamic and more life satisfaction. In the second qualitative research, five among these students participated in an ego-ecological exploration conducted with the Multistatistic Investigator of Social Identity (Zavalloni, 2007). The results explored how these students developed acculturative strategies and capacity system (Costalat, 2014) based on their identity dynamics.