Thursday, May 12, 2005

Initial Methodological Considerations

First, a quick reminder:
The aim of this research is to explore how ATCKs use the Internet in order to take or maintain contact with the cultures in which they were brought up.

In order to do this, I adopted a qualitative approach, using first questionnaires and later follow-up interviews. Since the recruitment of TCKs could prove difficult, I opted to call for multi-cultural individuals, and then manually sorting through the responses to sort out the individuals who fit the TCK profile. To further heighten my chances of finding individuals who fit the TCK profile, I opted for the snowball sampling technique. Here, the researcher relies on a qualified respondent to refer to other individuals with the same characteristics, who may then refer to the next and so on. This method is used for locating hidden populations, or social networks with a rare characteristic. One should of course keep in mind that there is a high possibility of bias among the collected respondents, however it is held that although the snowball sampling technique cannot be said to represent a whole population, it can represent a social network.

In this research, the individuals who qualified as matching the Danish TCK profile had to fulfill the following:

  • The individual must have lived at least two years in a country outside of Denmark.

  • The years abroad must have been spent during the developmental years. These were designated to be between 5 and 18, the school years.

  • The individual must hold Danish citizenship

  • The individual must finally express some affinity with a third culture, for instance through a deep internalisation of at least two cultures, involvement in international activities as children etc.

The number of individuals who matched the TCK profiles amounted to a total of 16, (8 female, 8 male). Of these, 8 were chosen to be interviewed subject to availability in the span of 3 weeks set aside for interviews.

The requirement of the respondents being Danish TCKs explicitly is due to the fact that although TCKs in general would be expected to be the same in many ways, (hence the definition,)regardless of their passport countries, Vicki Lambiri still draws attention to the fact that this is an issue that still needs to be researched (Lambiri, 2005). It is expected that Danish TCKs would be very much like American TCKs (who have been the subjects of the vast majority of TCK studies so far). Some evidence that there may be a difference between cultures may be the fact that of the 5 Icelandic TCKs, none of them had involved in international environments as children, whereas 12 of the Danish TCKs had gone to international schools and the rest at least to Danish summercamps. Attitude towards internationalisation may be different from culture to culture.


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