This study examined the cultural identity of third culture individuals, defined as people who lived outside their passport country during their developmental years. A qualitative approach utilizing in-depth interviews with 19 participants from six different countries and with varied intercultural experiences was employed in order to explore their perceptions of identity, sense of belonging, multiculturalism, intercultural communication competence, as well as positive and negative factors attributed to their experiences of a life on the move. Results show that third culture individuals are more apt to possess multiple cultural identities or a multicultural identity than a confused cultural identity, as previous research had indicated. Additionally, results suggest that while they lack a clear sense of belonging, they are competent intercultural communicators and perceive their experiences as mainly beneficial.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.