The paper discusses the impact of race and gender on the cross-cultural adaptation process of African American women who have studied abroad in Spain. The origins of perceptions held by Spaniards, and their reception of African American female study abroad students are examined through the use of a newspaper content analysis, television content analysis, a questionnaire/survey, and semi-formal interviews. Young Yun Kim's (2001) Integrative Theory of Communication and Cross-Cultural Adaptation is used to examine how the students' race and gender affected treatment by the host environment of Spain. The model underscores the role the host environment plays in the sojourner's adaptation process. Moreover, the model explains how the factors of racial difference/similarity, socio-political situations, and current relationships influence the host culture's receptivity of the sojourner. When applied to the African American female study abroad students surveyed, the students recognized African immigration, African female prostitution in Spain, and images of African and African American women in the media influenced the treatment they received from Spaniards. Spanish media is analyzed as a possible source of perceptions held by Spaniards. The paper could be useful to study abroad program administrators seeking to meet the needs of students of color studying abroad. Understanding the unique role each host environment plays in the student's experience can serve as a useful tool for study abroad program administrators, and resident directors as they create and implement program orientation materials and trainings.
Luqman, Khadijah, "Race, gender and the African American women's study abroad experience in Spain" (2002). Capstone Collection. 282.