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Engaging with the Question of Plagiarism from the Perspective of Confucian Heritage Culture: A Challenge to the Internationalization of Western Universities

  • Author / Creator
    Xiaodong Yang
  • With the globalization and internationalization of higher education, an increasing number of international students choose to come to Canada to pursue their education. Coming from different social, cultural and educational backgrounds, these international students encounter in Canadian academia numerous challenges in that they bring with them unlike or even conflicting views on literacy, writing, knowledge, learning, and communication. Dwelling in between their home culture and Canadian culture, and bearing different values and ethics, these students are confronted with risks of infringing on academy integrity and committing plagiarism, caused by the difficulty in understanding the meaning of plagiarism. This study explores the meaning of plagiarism for international students with a Confucian Heritage Cultural (CHC) background by investigating and understanding their experiences through in-depth and authentic conversations with two CHC students, who were charged with committing plagiarism on a Canadian university campus. Hermeneutics is utilized as the methodology and method in this study because: (a) it has an interpretive nature that supports personal narratives and explores into students’ lived experiences; (b) it encourages students to approach the meaning of plagiarism through understanding the concept interpretatively; and (c) it guides the writing of this study via situating the meaning of plagiarism in a historical and contextual context. Hermeneutics lends powerful tools and essential insights into the exploration of the highly sensitive and complex issue of plagiarism. Examining two CHC students’ lived experience of plagiarism, the study presents Confucian Heritage Cultural impact on students’ identity and learning, the psychological and social dynamics of CHC students’ negotiation in understanding plagiarism, and the complexity of dwelling and thriving in a cross-cultural space. A hermeneutic interpretation of the conversations discloses how the precepts of Confucian Heritage Culture impact students’ understanding of plagiarism in four dimensions, namely, identity, morality, ownership, knowledge and learning. New discourses for enhancing cross-cultural understandings in these four dimensions are discussed and new perspectives in understanding and addressing plagiarism issue through a cultural lens is suggested.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2019
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-3fdb-md08
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.