Cross Cultural Children

Topics: Culture, Cross-cultural communication, Sociology Pages: 10 (3156 words) Published: May 23, 2013





1. Introduction

2. Definitions

3. High Mobility

4. Advantages

5. Challenges

6. Conclusion

7. Bibliography

8. Attachments

It took me quite some time to decide on what topic to write for my term paper. While researching for a topic for many migration related subjects, I realized growing up in India in a bicultural family and now living in Germany since 3 years has made me face changes, integration, adaptation in two different cultural worlds. This phenomena has always interested me and this was an opportunity to actually research and find out about cross-cultural children (CCC) feel and face these changes in their lives. Having lived in India for the majority of my life and often visiting my extended family in Germany, I had an understanding how the two different cultures function and also how it felt to live and be exposed in two completely opposite cultures. I also had many friends with bi/cross-cultural background. And we saw that we shared many common interests, likes and experiences. It wasn't easy for me to find books on this particular topic. It seems not much has been researched about this theme. It is only now a growing reality due to more intercultural movements in the past years of globalization and becoming therefore more prominent. Fortunately, I came across the book, 'Third Culture Kids. Growing up among worlds' from David C. Pollack and Ruth E Van Reken. This book explores and defines the various categories of cross-cultural children and even more in depth about so-called third culture kids (which will be explained in the next chapter). There are so many criteria that define and differentiate different kinds of CCCs. But nevertheless the many traits of a third culture kid (TCK) are very familiar to the ones of cross culture kids (CCK). I need to clarify that there is no difference between CCC and CCK. The term CCK is used in particular here when I refer directly to the Third Culture Kids book, whereas CCC is used otherwise. Two reasons brought me to chose this topic: one is that I can identify with it from my own life experience and the other is that the phenomena of CCC have now become a more common occurrence over the past 2 decades and will become more likely an even bigger reality in the future. As it is a vast topic, I will go only highlight here what it means to live a cross-cultural life, some of its challenges and benefits .

The original definition of third culture was formed in the 1950s by the American social scientists, Ruth Hill Useem and John Useem, who went to India to do a research about Americans who lived and worked there (as missionaries or officers and so on in those days). This is where they came in contact with more emigrants from other countries and realized that those people had formed a different kind of lifestyle and culture from their home country as well from the host country. The Useems then defined the home culture from where the parents come from as the first culture. The host culture was defined as the second culture. And the shared lifestyle of the expatriates family as an interstitial culture which they named as the third culture. As Dr. Ruth Useem became more interested in the children of the expatriates, she noticed many common characteristics among the children as they grew up. She called them the third culture kids(TCK). Pollock and Van Reken describe TCKs in their book as children that move with their parents due to the career choice of the parents. Cross Cultural Kids (CCK) on the other hand have a broader meaning. CCK is a person who has lived in—or meaningfully interacted with—two or more cultural environments for a significant period of time during developmental...
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