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Title page for ETD etd-07152017-220020

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Kim, Yu-Ri
URN etd-07152017-220020
Title Intimate Partnering of Chinese International Students in the American South: The Sexual Fields Approach
Degree Master of Arts
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mariano Sana Committee Chair
Richard Douglas Lloyd Committee Member
  • Sexual Fields
  • Intimate Partnering
  • China
  • international student migration
Date of Defense 2017-07-13
Availability restricted
Chinese international students represent the largest group of foreign students within the United States. Although research has investigated the vulnerabilities and career aspirations of this population, literature regarding the intimate lives of Chinese international students remains limited. This paper investigates Chinese international students’ intimate partnering—activities and desires related to the pursuit of partners for committed relationships or casual sex—in the host society. A sexual fields theory is used to examine the structured opportunities, barriers, and likely strategies toward intimacy adopted by a sample of Chinese international students (n = 30) attending universities in the American South. I propose that the structure of desire and desirability is composed via processes of sexual differentiation, distinction, gendered racialization, and reorientation. I also suggest four types of partnering strategies—withdrawal, within-group exclusivity, between-group exclusivity, and inclusive—that Chinese international students use based on their lived experiences and their advantages and disadvantages in the sexual fields.
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