After Australia, French without France
Chapter Five - Cultural Identity Issues 241
Chapter Five Cultural Identity Issues This chapter focuses on cultural identity issues which have grown out of the data analysis of chapters three and four. The re-negotiation of cultural identity during intercultural transitions, from the perspective of the participants of this study is of paramount importance as the ramifications of identity remodelling may dramatically affect the future of these young sojourners. This is because their self-concept and self-esteem have been altered to varying degrees, irrevocably in some instances, and the way they perceive their new cultural identity during the difficult re-entry transition back into France may have lasting personal and social consequences. An important issue has emerged. In France, as in many other nations, there is evidence of an innate fear of the hegemonic effects of English for its undesirable influence on the cultural identity of the young generation. Therefore, the link between language, culture and identity increases in significance during the transitional processes of adaptation and readjustment. Language, after all, has been considered a part of humans’ unique cognitive endowment (Erard, 2005). It stands to reason that language is an intrinsic marker of one’s cultural and national identity (eg. Hill, 2002; Liddicoat et al., 2003). Liddicoat (2002) argues culture is entrenched in even the simplest language and is perceived as inseparable from the way we live our lives and use our language. The complexity of culture becomes apparent when one considers it in its sociolinguistic context, that is, how it shapes the things we say, when we say them...
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