Sunday, November 30, 2008

President Without Borders

Indy resident Ruth Van Reken (pictured), an expert on "Third Culture Kids", notes that President-Elect Barack Obama spent some of his childhood living abroad, as have many of his appointments so far.

In "President Without Borders" on the blog Daily Beast she talks about the broadened perspective of Americans raised in foreign cultures.

"This is more than a trivial coincidence," she writes. "So-called 'Third Culture Kids' -- and the adults they become – share certain emotional and psychological traits that may exert great influence in the new administration. According to a body of sociological literature devoted to children who spend a portion of their developmental years outside their 'passport country', the classic profile of a 'TCK' is someone with a global perspective who is socially adaptable and intellectually flexible. He or she is quick to think outside the box and can appreciate and reconcile different points of view. Beyond whatever diversity in background or appearance a TCK may bring to the party, there is a diversity of thought as well."

Van Reken is co-founder of Families in Global Transition. In addition to other writing, Ruth is co-editor of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds.

1 comment:

John Clark said...

What made this past presidential election interesting was that both main party candidates were "TCKs": McCain was born in the Canal Zone; and he grew up in the Navy, very different than growing up in the United States. (And he did spend more years living in another country than just about any other presidential nominee I can think of, if you consider time in a Vietnamese prison living). So I guess not all TCKs wind up as balanced as Barack.