Third Culture Kids

This introductory blog entry seeks to find a specific research topic within the realm of Third Culture Kids. Third Culture Kids are an umbrella term for those young adults whose parents are from one country, but they themselves have grown up in other countries and have thus formed their own cultures (an amalgamation of nations in which they have lived). These children may be parents of entrepreneurs, diplomats, missionaries, NGO workers, and so forth. They are characterized by their constant mobility as well as struggle to identify a set ‘home’. These growing groups of children are intriguing, due to their rootlessness as well as their global understanding of the world. Through international schooling, an intimate, first-hand exposure to various cultures, and interactions with people from around the world, the kids are constantly dealing with identity formation. It is thus evident to see the transnational element behind TCKs, as they experience continual coming and going not only themselves, but the people around them, too.

Appadurai’s “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy” sheds light on the way in which technology has aided in bridging the gap between cultures in both a geographical and timely manner. This compression of time and space aids TCKs in their mobility. I find I can readily keep in contact with my family and close friends through social media, the telephone, and Skype. Another point Appadurai makes within his article is that of cultural homogenization; the author questions whether cultures are influenced solely from the West to the Rest and not the other way around. TCKs, in my experience, and with my research, have proven to debunk this theory/concern, because of their ability, through TCK organizations, or events (such as international festivals, embassy events, and so forth) to represent and spread cultural characteristics of their motherland.

Throughout my substantial research regarding TCKs, I realized that, while the subject captured my fascination due to a strong personal connection, it is not a subject that merits close case study for my research paper. I was unable to find a solid transnational event or person that I could properly delve into.

An intriguing topic- one to keep in mind for future Global Studies classes!


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