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FIGT Research Network Affiliate

  • 26 Jun 2020
  • 6:00 AM - 7:30 AM (PDT)
  • Online (via Zoom)

Do Class Differences Matter for Third Culture Kids?

Date: Friday, June 26, 2020

Time: 6:00 am PDT / 9:00 am EDT / 3:00 pm Vienna / 9:00 pm Singapore

Location: Online (via Zoom)

Cost: FREE. Open to all. 

The prevailing image of ‘Third Culture Kids (TCKs)’ and expat kids is of a group of privileged, globe-trotting children who take pride in feeling at home in airports. While there is some emerging awareness of the diversity in their experiences, much has been left unsaid about differences among TCKs. In reality, some TCKs are not as privileged or well off as others. Many grow up under very different circumstances to the globe-trotting image depending on their home or host countries and why and how their families move across borders.

But how best can we study and analyze the impact of socio-economic difference on the TCK experience? Instead of focusing only on the academic literature that employs the ‘third culture kid’ framework for analysis, it may be useful to look at, for example, the expansive body of literature on migration or mobility.

In this seminar, Dr Mari Korpela will reflect on her own research path as an anthropologist studying young expatriate children in India and Finland. Her findings are based on two extensive ethnographic research projects. She conducted 10 months of fieldwork in Goa, India, among 4 to 12-year-old children from 2011 to 2013 and is now in the 9th month of her ongoing fieldwork in Finland among 8 to 11-year-old children. In particular, Dr Korpela will elaborate on the children’s position of relative privilege in their host countries. She will also touch upon the importance of studying young children in contributing to our knowledge on ‘Third Culture Kids’.

This online seminar will be hosted by Sarah Gonzales, Chair of the FIGT Research Network, and speaker Dr Mari Korpela will be joined by discussants Dr Sachiko Horiguchi and Dr Danau Tanu.

Mari Korpela, PhD, is a social anthropologist and an Academy Research Fellow at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Tampere University, Finland. She has extensive research experience among lifestyle migrants and expatriate families. Mari is also the President of the Finnish Anthropological Society and the Director of the Lifestyle Migration Hub hosted by Tampere University (research.tuni.fi/lifestyle/). Her current research project is titled, Expatriate Childhood: Children's Experiences of Temporary Migration.

Sachiko Horiguchi, PhD, is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Temple University Japan Campus. She obtained a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford under the supervision of Professor Roger Goodman, a leading scholar on the kikokushijo (a Japanese term for returnee children). Sachiko’s research interests lie in social and medical anthropology, focusing on youth mental health issues, education, and emerging multiculturalism in contemporary Japan.

Danau Tanu, PhD, is the author of Growing Up in Transit: The Politics of Belonging at an International School and an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Social Sciences of the University of Western Australia. She has published ethnographic studies on Third Culture Kids and mixed-race identities and was recently awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at Waseda University by the Japan Foundation. Danau is a Co-Chair of the FIGT Research Network.

Sarah Gonzales is Director of Graduate Programs at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Law. She also serves at NAFSA: Association for International Educators, teaching Intercultural Communication in Practice, Admissions and Placement of International Students, and Assessment and Evaluation for International Educators. Sarah is currently pursuing doctoral research on the intersection of cultural intelligence and mediation skills of TCKs. She is Chair of the FIGT Research Network

Please register in advance for this meeting.

For more information and to be added to our mailing list, please email research@figt.org.

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