Emotions of expatriate children and families transitioning into Malaysia: A cultural historical perspective
AUTHOR : Megan Adams
INFORMATION : page. 129~151 / 2014 Vol.8 No.2
Much of the literature on Third Culture Kids (TCKs) is focussed on negative emotions that children and
adults experience during an international transition. Few studies were found that draw on a cultural
historical reading of emotions during an international transition. This paper seeks to fill the gap by
presenting a study of a young child and her family transitioning into Malaysia as expatriates and looks at
the individual and collective emotions present at home and school during the transition. Findings
positioned from the child’s perspective show heightened emotions gradually reducing over time with the
support of the mother and teacher (Vygotsky, 1987). Further findings reveal that the absence of everyday
routines adds to the range of heightened emotions felt by the individual child and collectively in the
family and attending school is one of the first stable routines that the child undertakes. It is argued that a
cultural-historical reading of this situation offers a different perspective and beginning theorization on
the emotional development of children transitioning internationally.
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