Publication Date

Summer 7-2014

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard

Abstract

For decades, social scientists have been conducting studies about Third Culture Kids (TCKs). TCKs are children who have been raised outside of their passport countries as a result of their parents’ professions abroad. One sociologist refers to TCKs as “prototype citizens of the future,” citing their backgrounds a playing a role in today’s increasingly globalized world. How have TCKs’ multicultural backgrounds and experiences shaped them? What types of professions are they prone to? What qualities and characteristics do they commonly share and why are they an important group to study? My capstone aims to address these questions.

The combination of my Third Culture upbringing and my recent practicum in New Orleans inspired the focus of this paper. In the pursuit of understanding my own professional interests and the effects that a multicultural childhood can have on career choice, I will attempt to look at connections between Adult Third Culture Kids’ (ATCKs) definitions of home and their career development. These themes will be explored using studies and data from leading sociologists in the field, in addition to my own survey results, interviews and reflections.

Typically mobile in nature, TCKs are not the easiest group of people to study. I will also discuss challenges, limitations and recent additions/changes in research. As a TCK, myself, I believe that I bring experience, insight and the careful considerations necessary to explore these unique citizens of the world.

Disciplines

Family, Life Course, and Society | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Sociology of Culture

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