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The Experience of Global Nomads on U.S. College Campuses

Wood, Helen (2013) The Experience of Global Nomads on U.S. College Campuses. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Global nomads and third culture kids (GN/TCKs) are defined as those individuals who have lived a portion of their lives in a country other than their passport country, due to the occupation of one or more parents (McCaig, 2002; Pollock and Van Reken, 2009). The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of GN/TCKs on U.S. college campuses. Three themes emerged from the literature review: belonging, identity, and introspection; determined to be similar for all U.S. HE college students in this age group and were used to understand the participants’ experiences on campus. The experiences of the participants were measured against the backdrop of U.S. Student Development Theory (SDT); the name given to identity development models addressing the development of traditional aged (18-22 years) U.S. college students. The experiences were also compared to Pollock and Van Reken’s (2009) four cultural domains, hidden immigrant, foreigner, adopted and mirror. The method of investigation was a survey distributed through multiple online avenues, as well as six one-on-one interviews conducted via Skype® and telephone. The data analysis was guided by SDT, specifically social identity theories as well as Pollock and Van Reken’s (2009) four cultural domains. Elements of the participants’ experiences mirror those of mono-cultural U.S. HE students, and the universal themes of belonging, identity and introspection were evident in their narratives. The findings revealed most of the participants fell into Pollock and Van Reken’s hidden immigrant category; an individual who looks alike yet thinks differently than the majority culture. Evident in the analysis was the participants’ lack of understanding of U.S. culture; I classified this as a lack of national identity. A pictorial model that integrates the development of a national identity is included. The need for a new student development theory focused on the identity development of GN/TCKs is discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Keywords: Global Nomads, Student Development Theory
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.595099
Depositing User: Dr. Helen Wood
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2014 12:12
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 11:04
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5201

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