Paula OBrienDr Paula O’Brien is a Senior Lecturer for The Lincoln International Business School

“My doctoral research contributes to the existing literature on the international student experience and moreover international student identity. Higher Education is seen as a site of identity construction for the individual. This research project provides an opportunity to explore the international student experiences of a new academic culture, the development of support networks, and their search for local employment whilst studying abroad.

Identity is understood to be socially constructed; that is, as one’s sense of self and beliefs about one’s own social group as well as others, are constructed through interactions in the broader social context such as education and work. This research project has been influenced by more recent developments within psychology and other disciplines which resist the notion of identity as a developmental and linear process. By adopting a social constructionist lens, identity formation is not necessarily considered as a linear phenomenon, emphasising instead the fluid and dynamic nature of identity amongst international students.
Identity construction can be located at the individual, relational, organisational levels and moreover the wider society. Essentially identity is seen as constructed and enacted in everyday talk by the student, in their social interactions between themselves and others.”

Please visit the staff directory for more information on Dr Paula O’Brien’s qualifications and publications

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