Cason, Rachel May (2015) 'Third culture kids': migration narratives on belonging, identity and place. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

Third Culture Kids are the children of people working outside their passport countries, and who are employed by international organisations as development experts, diplomats, missionaries, journalists, international NGO and humanitarian aid workers, or UN representatives. The “third culture” they possess is the temporary, nomadic multicultural space they inhabited as children, within an expatriate community and, in some cases, international school. This culture is distinct from their parents’ homeland culture (the first culture) and from that of the country in which they spend their formative years but of which they are not native members (the second culture). The “third culture” inhabited by Third Culture Kids does not unite the first and second cultures, but rather comprises a space for their unstable integration (Knörr, 2005).

This thesis explores the following question: In what ways does being a Third Culture Kid affect notions of belonging, identity and place? Through analysis of both fieldwork in an international school, and exploratory life story interviews with adult TCKs from myriad backgrounds, this work contributes to a better understanding of the experience of growing up abroad, and tracks the long term effects of this experience on the ways in which TCKs orient themselves towards belonging, identity and place. Throughout the course of this research, findings coalesce to orient TCKs as cosmopolitans, rooted in the expatriate communities of their childhoods, continuing in mobility and self-conscious “otherness” into adulthood, and moving through place as “elite vagrants”.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Depositing User: Michael Debenham
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2015 12:43
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2015 12:43
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/1029

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