The effects of globalization and modernity have lead to increasing number families travelling across a number of boarders for work that is resulting in their nomadic children to grow up globally. This research examines “What is unique about Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and what are the greatest benefits and challenges they face in their global lifestyle?” This report will detail who TCKs are, why are they becoming more common, the five-stage model of transition, the benefits and challenge and finally it will conclude with strategies that schools can implement for an effective transition process. The parameters of this report are only looking at the effects of TCKs travelling to a different country and not exploring the outcomes when they return to their country of origin.
Origin of Third Culture Kids (TCKs)
It has become common for more families to live a life of high mobility, resulting in many children no longer facing the realities of monocultural upbringings . They have not been raised in their parents’ culture but in a cross-culture individualistic to each persons’ . Over 40 years ago, the sociologist/anthropologist John and Ruth Hill Useem originally developed the concept of Third Culture Kids (TCK) when studying American expatriates in India . To them it was evident that those expatriates formed a lifestyle neither similar to their home cultures or their host culture but that it was a combination of both. Based on Pollock & Van Reken’s definition a TCK is a “is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her development years outside the parents’ culture.” Therefore, the native culture where the person is originally from is the ‘first culture’, the host culture they have transitioned into is known as the ‘second culture’ and lastly, it is identified that the shared lifestyle experienced is the ‘third culture’ - culture between cultures.
Figure 1; shows how the third culture is identified
These children are usually of diplomats, aid workers, international business people, military personnel and missionaries . A third culture child with this nomadic lifestyle integrates and builds relationships with all or part of the norms and values of all the countries they have travelled too. But as a consequence they do not have full ownership in any . There are many benefits and challenges that come with this complex and unique lifestyle.
Effects of Globalization
TCKs are increasingly finding comfort in numbers due to the effects of globalization . The progressive convenience of long-distance travel, rapid availability to information with technology advances, ease of trade, increase in international businesses and military placements has created an unprecedented number of expatriate families. The number of American citizens who live aboard have risen from 3.6 million to more than 7 million, similarly with international British citizens from 8.6 million to more that 14 million since 1992 .
A questionnaire targeting...