Emotions of expatriate children and families transitioning into Malaysia: a cultural historical perspective

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129 - 151
Number of pages23
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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