My own research on Third Culture Kids is what prompted me to found Life Story Therapies. Click here to read my doctorate in full: Third culture kids’: migration narratives on belonging, identity and place. If you are yourself researching in this area, do feel free to scan the bibliography for useful titles, or quote me directly with appropriate citations.
Full citation: Cason, R. (2019) “Third Culture Kids and paradoxical cosmopolitanism”, pp. 177-185 in G. Delanty (Ed.) Routledge International Handbook of Cosmopolitanism Studies (2nd Ed.), Routledge: Oxon
Here I am collating an eclectic, and by no means exhaustive, list of books, articles and research that touch on the experiences of Third Culture Kids directly, or indirectly through various themes or expressions that might nevertheless feel relevant. Some are references I have come across myself, some will have been recommended to me. If you do feel something is missing from this page that you’d like to see listed, do get in touch here. I’d love to hear from you.
AVAILABLE EARLY 2023
Incredible Lives and the Courage to Live Them: Thoughts of a Third Culture Kid therapist
by Dr Rachel Cason
If you are an adult TCK, you probably sense that the multicultural, high mobility experiences of your childhood continue to impact your life in some way now. Making sense of the impact of these experiences, however, can feel overwhelming, especially if we have long experience of our stories being met with bafflement and incredulity. My hope is that this collection of my thoughts over the last seven years of working with Third Culture Kids will create space for you to explore and make sense of the incredible life you’ve lived. As you read, I hope that you feel the invitation of community and belonging where you see your personal experience shared by so many others. So get comfortable, know you are oh-so welcome, and enjoy the journey! These pages are for you, offered with love and care to you from this TCK therapist.
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When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler’s Journal of Staying Put
by Vivian Swift
This is a charming autobiographical work that walks the reader through the months and seasons of one year, with observations encompassing many years of travel and nomadism. Yet the writer is speaking from a place of settledness and is uniquely able in this book to celebrate both wandering and stillness. A wonderful read for all those seeking settledness, and want the detail of what that settledness could look like. I discuss an observation made in this book here.
In Love But Worlds Apart: Insights, questions, and tips for the intercultural couple
by G. Shelling and Janet Fraser-Smith
I met Janet Fraser-Smith years ago, while I was embarking on my initial research, and was struck by her enthusiasm for the topic, and wisdom. I am not a couples counsellor, nor have I used this book myself directly with clients – but it may be a useful support to Third Culture Kids for whom relationships will always be intercultural!
Writing Out of Limbo: International Childhoods, Global Nomads and Third Culture Kids
by Gene H. Bell-Villada, Nina Sichel, Faith Eidse and Elaine Neil Orr
A wonderful collation of Third Culture Kid writers, from a number of perspectives and across multiple themes. Well-written, and a mix of autobiography, reflection and research, this book merits a peruse.
MILITARY BRATS: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress
by Mary Edwards Wertsch
This book is simply extraordinary. It’s a courageous and unflinching look at the experiences of many Military Third Culture Kids. Not always an easy read and potentially triggering as it encounters child abuse, both physical and sexual, it is a book that gave me courage to write about the hard places of our TCK landscape.