Discrimination

How does discrimination affect IS?

One research study found that international students who reported (among other attributes) higher levels of perceived discrimination also reported higher levels of adjustment difficulties (Duru & Poyrazli, 2011). Higher perceived prejudice is partially predictive of higher levels of depressive symptoms (Rahman, & Rollock, 2004), in more severe cases, even suicide ideation (Wang, Wong, & Fu, 2013). Rejection by a host culture may lead international students to identify more with their students of the same nationality or ethnicity, thereby buffering them from the negative effects of discrimination (Ramos, Cassidy, Reicher, & Haslam, 2012).

Language discrimination as a unique form for IS

Language discrimination is characterized as being looked down upon, avoided, ignored, rejected, or perceived as less intelligent due to the way a person speaks English (or a particular language) as a second language or with a different accent.  One study found that language discrimination is positively associated with depression, anxiety and racial discrimination. Moreover, language discrimination is negative associated with self-esteem, life satisfaction and English proficiency (Wei, Wang, & Ku, 2012).

Factors that protect against discrimination

Research has shown that there are several factors that can help international students against discrimination. Some of these factors are coping styles and self-esteem, which will influence the level of depression when facing discrimination (Wei, Ku, Russell, Mallinckrodt, & Liao, 2008). Other factors such as support from international student office (Chen, Mallinckrodt, & Mobley, 2002), cultural events, leadership programs, community service and social connectedness in the ethnic community can also help international students against discrimination (Glass & Westmont, 2013).

Difference across groups?

Research has shown that Africans, Asians, and South Americans were less acculturated than Europeans in terms of perceived prejudice, observance of cultural practices and social ties, and language usage (Sodowsky & Plake, 1992).

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