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Self-help and the surfacing of identity: Producing the Third Culture Kid

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journal contribution
posted on 27.07.2017 by Sophie Cranston
In this paper, I argue for a need to expand our understanding of the role that self-help plays in the constitution of identities. Using the example of the Third Culture Kid (TCK) industry, I argue that self-help acts as a space of biopower through its role in managing the emotional experience of having been globally mobile as a child. To do this, the paper looks at how the TCK, as a subject, is surfaced as comfort in relation to the ascribed grief and insecurity of identity that is associated with childhood global mobility. Data are derived from a multi-sited ethnography, including a narrative analysis of TCK literature, reader discussions, participant observation at a TCK event and an online survey. The argument contributes to scholarly critiques of self-help by examining processes of production and consumption of TCK subjectivity enacted through the TCK industry. Thereby, the paper contends that in researching self-help we need a wider understanding of its production and consumption, how people are persuaded to use it, and how they respond to ideas presented within it.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Emotion, Space and Society

Volume

24

Pages

27-33

Citation

CRANSTON, S., 2017. Self-help and the surfacing of identity: Producing the Third Culture Kid. Emotion, Space and Society, 24, pp. 27-33.

Publisher

© Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

11/07/2017

Publication date

2017-07-31

Copyright date

2017

Notes

This paper was published in the journal Emotion, Space and Society and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emospa.2017.07.006.

ISSN

1755-4586

Language

en

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