(Mis)representation among U.S. study abroad programs traveling to the African continent: A critical content analysis of a Teach Abroad program
Keywords:Study abroad, Africa, Postcolonial, Content analysis
As study abroad programs continue to increase and expand the places they send students, it is important for colleges and universities to pay close attention to the depictions of the African continent in promotional materials. While existing literature in the field of tourism, social work, and African studies have analyzed images of the cultural Other in study abroad text, there is a paucity of higher education and student affairs research that utilizes postcolonial theory to analyze representations of teach abroad programs. To address this gap, this research undertakes a critical content analysis of promotional material of a teach abroad program and finds that promotional materials remain fixated on representing the African continent in a hegemonic way that reinforces white savior complex, culturalism, and the poverty porn discourse. Ultimately, we argue colleges will need to make purposeful efforts in order to achieve new visions of African countries by deconstructing mainstream stereotypes.
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