Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1461-0213
  • E-ISSN: 1570-5595


Following Sayer’s (2010) examination of reflexivity and habitus, we focus on the ( Darvin & Norton 2015 ) of Aaron, a Chinese international student at a U.S. university. Specifically, we examine how he wrestled with being identified as an ESL learner despite having attended a U.S. high school. Also exploring the relationship between reflexivity and emotions ( Flam 2010 ), we draw on his written work, interviews, and his WeChat conversations. Our findings revealed that as a result of positioning himself as being better than the other Chinese students on campus (because of his English proficiency) and distancing himself from domestic U.S. students, Aaron did not capitalize on his Chinese-English bilingualism to extend his local social networks, which exacerbated his growing isolation at his home university. In tracing his emotional trajectory and strategies to cope with his predicament, we problematize the grand narrative of the ( Vandrick 2011 ) that overlooks the challenges encountered by affluent international students.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): emotions; identity; reflexivity; transnational habitus; WeChat
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