Identity Conflicts and Negotiations : Narratives of Asian International Students' Experiences in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

11 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-656
Journal / PublicationJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number5
Online published19 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


This study draws on a narrative-based multiple case study approach to investigating three Asian international students' experiences in a Hong Kong university, with a focus on their identity conflicts and negotiations. Informed by a poststructuralist perspective on identity arid the Bakhtinian notion of dialogical self, the study found that the international students' identity conflicts appear to be complex and varied and relate to different aspects of their identities, including their national, ethnic, academic and 'non-local student' identities. The findings suggest that their identity conflicts seem to arise primarily from a mismatch between their desired identities and the identities imposed by others. The findings also reveal that when dealing with identity conflicts, these students exercise their agency through (i) entering into an internal dialogue in response to others' positioning of themselves in order to (re)interpret the self-other relations and (ii) taking strategic actions to contest the other-imposed identities and construct new and alternative identities. Taken together, the findings suggest that international students' identity conflicts can be a potential avenue for identity transformation and (re)construction. The findings also call for the need to attend to the dialogical nature of identity and the role of agency in understanding international students' identity conflicts and negotiations. © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Research Area(s)

  • International student, identity conflict, identity negotiation, agency, Hong Kong, LANGUAGE