Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Motivation Behind this Research

In order to remind myself why I ever decided this topic for an MSc thesis, but also in order to justify it to myself and the readers, I have decided to list the reasons why I find this interesting, as well as the more "proper" reasons why this research is in fact worth my time.

My main, personal motivation behind this thesis is probably to have an excuse to explore the body of research that there is on Third Culture Kids, and relating it to the current knowledge on the Internet as a globalising media.

Vicki Lambiri notes that there is still a lot of research to be done on TCKs. She recently wrote a list of the Top Eight Research Needs (pdf) to be done on TCKs. At the top of the list is "How is Technology impacting the TCK Experience?", including issues such as keeping in touch with friends abroad, the "cushioning" of returning to one's home country and finally the questions "What influence is the Internet having on the shaping of TCK identity? How will the use of the web help third culture kids understand the multiple cultures that connect them to their identity?". Although my study is related to adult TCKs rather than TCKs as children, it is pleasing to see that what I'm studying is in fact needed research.

Although this thesis sprung from a plain, elementary interest in TCKs and their use of the media, I also hope to understand what this means in terms of the Internet as a tool for intercultural understanding. I'll admit at the moment of writing this post I do not really know what I hope to find - but I guess I am hoping that by looking at how TCKs use the Internet to maintain contact with the international environment (assuming of course, that they do,) we will be able to discover the third spaces that are created in cyberspace, and thereby see the potentials in the tools provided by the Internet to mediate cultural cues, and eventually promote cultural understanding.

Charles Ess (yet unpublished) suggests that research begins to connect the post-colonial body of research with that of IT, and I would like to think that I am doing something like that.

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