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March Theme: “Third Culture Kids”

05 Mar 2020 3:41 AM | Anonymous

This month, we focus on Third Culture Kids (TCKs): persons who have “spent a significant part of their developmental years outside the parents’ culture.” Many of FIGT’s members are TCKs or adult TCKs, are parents to TCKs, or work with and support TCKs as educators, counselors, and other professionals.

Where would FIGT be if not for Third Culture Kids (TCKs)? Many of our members are TCKs or adult TCK (ATCKs), are parents to TCKs, or work with and support TCKs as educators, counselors, and other professionals.

And of course, FIGT Founder Ruth Van Reken is co-author, with David C. Pollock, of the “TCK Bible”, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, which is now in its third edition.

The term “TCK” was originally coined by researchers John and Ruth Useem in the 1950s, and is now typically used to define:

[A] person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents' culture. The TCK builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. (Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds. David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken. 1999, 2001, 2009, 2017.)

TCKs often share such characteristics as an expanded worldview, adaptability, language and cross-cultural skills, as well as the not-so-positive restlessness and rootlessness, confused loyalties, and a lack of a true cultural balance.

(FIGT members: log in and get a refresher on TCKs with this FIGT2007 presentation by Ruth Van Reken and Libby Stephens: “Third Culture Kids: The Experience Of Growing Up Among Worlds” or watch “Third Culture Kids 101” with Tanya Crossman.)

Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring some of the issues facing today’s Third Culture Kids (TCKs). This is a vast topic and an area that is the focus of a great deal of exciting and interesting research. 

While we cannot promise to touch on every aspect of TCK life, we hope to touch on topics and themes that will promote further discussion.

To access the content: Please join us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Video content will be available for the month and then archived to the members’ only section of this website.

If you would like to add your voice to this conversation, please contact Sarah at social-lead@figt.org

There are a vast number of presentations and resources on TCKs on this site and we introduce a few here. You're invited to also explore our Free Articles and Information and TCK/CCK Resources.

(Items with * require FIGT member log-in.) 

From this month's social media

From the FIGT archives

From FIGT conferences

> TCKs and school


> Different groups of TCKs

From the FIGT Bookstore

The FIGT Bookstore features publications written or recommended by FIGT members. Purchasing through the affiliate links below supports the David C. Pollock Scholarship at no extra cost to you. (Descriptions are from Amazon.) 

There are many more titles in the FIGT Bookstore — so please do explore!

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