and now for my next trick

third culture club

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Third Culture Club, By Chris Lenton in Janera.

I am third culture, which means I grew up between worlds, India and Canada.  Apparently, this experience has identifiable results which are increasingly common in the world as more and more people grow up between places. 

Here is a good article on what it means to be third culture, by Chris Lenton in Janera.  The observations are piercing if you have lived third culture but have had trouble understanding the implication for your life. 

From the article:

“They are the most interesting people because their rich inner lives belie their often bland… and sometimes wary, presentation of themselves to others.” TCKs are also, studies now show, bright, and courted by employers.


On the flipside, argues Professor Useem, these same qualities may lead to what psychologists call a “prolonged adolescence.” Over 90% of the people surveyed report being out of step with people of their age group. TCKs change jobs frequently and marry and have children far later than the average North American. They continue to move around a lot. They have trouble identifying what they want to do with their lives and most attest to having changed their course of study numerous times.

Written by Peter Rudd

March 20, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Posted in the world

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2 Responses

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  1. “…out of step with people of their age group…change jobs frequently and marry and have children far later than the average …move around a lot…trouble identifying what they want to do with their lives…”

    Unfortunately this description applies to me and many, if not most, of my peers… hmm… what does this say about our ‘1st’ culture. I’m afraid the whole concept of a culture is so challenged by the technocracy in which we live (North America particularly) that we are all becoming cultural nomads, regardless of our place of origin. Every day, ‘place’ is being further ‘displaced’ and devalued by ever-new technically mediated versions of communication (the core value of place and culture). So why should place/culture matter any more? But it does matter, regardless of these changes. And so we feel a kind of anxiety and loss – preventing us from committing to the milestones of traditional (place-oriented) cultural life and engagement.


    March 20, 2009 at 6:09 pm

  2. interesting, makes a lot of sense – thanks. i also think place/culture matters more to some than to others – that it’s personality based at least at some level. i have friends who grew up the same as me for which this article would be meaningless.

    peter rudd

    March 21, 2009 at 11:47 am

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