(Mis)representation among U.S. study abroad programs traveling to the African continent: A critical content analysis of a Teach Abroad program

  • Ifeyinwa Onyenekwu Rutgers University New Brunswick
  • Julianne Angeli University of Missouri
  • Ransford Pinto University of Missouri
  • Ty’Ron Douglas University of Missouri
Keywords: Study abroad, Africa, Postcolonial, Content analysis

Abstract

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.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Albers, P. & James, W. (1988). Travel photography: a methodological approach. Annals of Tourism Research, 15, 134-58.

Barthes, R. (1972). Mythologies. 1957. Trans. Annette Lavers. New York: Hill and Wang, 302- 306.

Bhabha, H. (1994). The location of culture. London: Routledge.

Bishop, S.C. (2013). The rhetoric of study abroad: Perpetuating expectations and results through technological enframing. Journal of Studies in International Education, 17(4), 398- 413. DOI: 10.177/1028315312472983

Bolen, M. (2001). Consumerism and U.S. study abroad. Journal of Studies in International Education, 5(3), 182-200.

Brown, A. (2013). Waiting for superwoman: White female teachers and the construction of the neoliberal savior in a New York City public school.” Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 11(2), 123-164.

Buzinde, C., Santos, C.A., & Smith, S. (2006). Ethnic representations: Destination imagery. Annals of Tourism Research, 33, 707-728.

Caton, K & Santos, C.A. (2009). Images of the other: selling study abroad in a postcolonial world. Journal of Travel Research, 48(2), 191-204. doi: 10.1177/0047287509332309

Cole, T. (2012). The white-savior industrial complex. The Atlantic. Retrieved from
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial- complex/254843/

DeGraaf, D., Slagter, C., Larsen, K. & Ditta, E. (2013). The long-term personal and professional impacts of participating in study abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 23. 42-59.

Douglas, T. M. O. (2016). Border crossing brothas: Black males navigating race, place, and complex space. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Downe-Wamboldt, B. (1992). Content analysis: Method, applications, and issues. Health
Care for Women International, 13, 313-321.

Emdin, C. (2016). For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education. Beacon Press.

Geiser, J.D. (2015). Sociocultural investigation of identity: how students navigate the study abroad experience. Journal of College Student Development, 56(6), 637-643.

Glick, H. (2015, June 9). Bold new photo project tackles Appalachian poverty porn. Global Citizen. Retrieved from https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/bold-new-photo-project-tackles-appalachian-poverty/

Gresson, A. D., III. (2008). Race and education primer. New York: Peter Lang.

Hickey, D, & Wylie, K. (1993). An enchanting darkness: The American vision of Africa in the twentieth century. East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University Press.

Hsieh, H. & Shannon, S. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288.

Institute of International Education (2014). Fast facts open doors 2014. Retrieved from
http://www.iie.org/research-and-publications/open-doors

Jenkins, O. (2003). Photography and travel brochures: the circle of representation. Tourism Geographies, 5(3), 305-28.

Kaskure, N., & Krivorotko, J. (2014). Poverty porn as a sign of a postcolonial wall between “Us” and “Them”. Retrieved from http://lup.lub.lu.se/luur/download?func=downloadFile&recordOId=4460603&fileOId=4460629

Kennedy, V. (2000). Edward Said: A critical introduction. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Khalifa, M., Douglas, T. M. O., & Venzant-Chambers, T. (2016). White gazes of Black Detroit: Milliken v. Bradley, post-colonial theory, and why inequities persist. Teachers College Record, 118(3).

Kiem, C. A. (2008). Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and inventions of the American mind. Westview Press

Lowe, T. B., Dozier, C. D., Hunt-Hurst, P. & Smith, B. P. (2008). Study abroad in West Africa: An interdisciplinary program of international education. College Student Journal, 42(3), 38-747.

Luo, J. & Jamieson-Drake, D. (2014). Predictors of study abroad intent, participation, and college outcomes. Research in Higher Education, 56(1), 29-56.

Martin, F. & Griffiths, H. (2012). Power and representation: A postcolonial reading of global partnerships and teacher development through North-South study visits. British Educational Research Journal, 38(6), 907-927.

McCarthy, M. (1983). Dark continent: Africa seen by Americans. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.

Mukherjee, D. & Chowdhury, D. (2012). What do the flyers say? Embedded ‘orientalist’
constructions in social work study abroad programs in the United States. International Social Work, 1-21. DOI: 10.1177/0020872812441644

National Center for Education Statistics (2013) Digest of Education Statistics. Retrieved
from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_209.10.asp

Onyenekwu, I. U. (2016). Traveling to Non-traditional Destinations: Recommendations for American Students Studying Abroad in “Africa”. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 28(1), 93.

Pires, M. (2000). Study-abroad and cultural exchange programs to Africa: America's image of a continent. African Issues, 28(ó), 39-45.

Pritchard, A. (2000). Ways of seeing ‘them’ and ‘us’: tourism representation, race and identity.In M. Robinson, P. Long, N. Vans, R. Sharpley, & J. Swarbrooke (Eds.), Expressions of Culture, Identity and Meaning in Tourism, 245-262. Houghton-le-Spring, UK: Business Education Publishers.

Said, E. (1978). Orientalism. Vintage: New York.

Said, E. (1994). Culture and imperialism. New York: Vintage Books.

Salisbury, M.H., Paulsen, M.B. & Pascarella, E.T. (2010). To see the world or stay at home: Applying an integrated student choice model to explore the gender gap in the intent to study abroad. Research in Higher Education, 51(7), 615-640.

Spivak, G. C. (1990). The post-colonial critic: Interviews, strategies, dialogues. New York: Routledge.

Spivak, G. C. (1999). A critique of postcolonial reason: Toward a history of the vanishing present. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Spivak, G. C., Landry, D., & Maclean, G. (Eds.). (1996). The Spivak reader. New York: Routledge.

Tolliver, D. E. (2000). Study abroad in Africa: Learning about race, racism, and the racial legacy of America. African Issues, 28(1/2), 112–116. doi:10.2307/1167071

Villaverde, L. E. (2008). Feminist theories and education primer. New York: Peter Lang.

Williams, T.R. (2005). Exploring the impact of study abroad on students’ intercultural communication skills: adaptability and sensitivity. Journal of Studies in International Education, 9(4), 356-371. doi: 10.1177/1028315305277681

Woolf, M. (2006). Come and see the poor people: The pursuit of exotica. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 13, 135-146.

Wynveen, C.J., Kyle, G.T. & Tarrant, M.A. (2012). Study abroad experiences and global citizenship: fostering proenvironmental behavior. Journal of Studies in International Education, 16(4), 334-352. doi: 10.1177/1028315311426782
Published
2017-04-27
How to Cite
Onyenekwu, I., Angeli, J., Pinto, R., & Douglas, T. (2017). (Mis)representation among U.S. study abroad programs traveling to the African continent: A critical content analysis of a Teach Abroad program. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 29(1), 68-84. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v29i1.386