💭 reflections on: Third Culture Kids and Cross-Cultural Kids explained
inbetweenishSeptember 06, 2022x
00:22:0915.23 MB

💭 reflections on: Third Culture Kids and Cross-Cultural Kids explained

In this minisode we’re going back to the origin story of in-betweenish, explaining why and how it came to be. It all started with a few simple questions about a decade ago:

Where is home? 
What is a home?

This lead me on a journey to discover the term Third Culture Kid (TCK). Researchers John and Ruth Useem, an American sociologist and anthropologist couple, first coined the term Third Culture Kids when they were living abroad in India with their family. According to Dr. Ruth Useem, being a Third Culture Kid explained “Children who accompany their parents into another culture [usually for a parent’s career choice.]” Sometimes the term Adult Third Culture Kid, ATCK, is used to describe adults who had a TCK upbringing.

Simple formula used to understand Third Culture Kids:
A [parents’ culture] + B [host country/countries culture(s)] = C [your own third culture]

Years later, when doing research for the inception of the in-betweenish pod, I came across the more inclusive term Cross-Cultural Kids (CCK). This new model was researched and developed by Ruth E. Van Reken and encompasses more diverse experiences of people who exist across different cultures for any reason. In her research, Van Reken outlines 7 Cross-Cultural Kid categories and they are:

  • Bi-racial/ bi-cultural children
  • Children of Immigrants
  • Children of Refugees
  • Children of Minorities 
    (Privileged or Marginalized)
  • International Adoptions
  • Traditional Third Culture Kids
    (Foreign Service Kids, Corporate Brats, Missionary Kids, Military Brats)
  • Domestic Third Culture Kids

 If you recognize yourself in this CCK upbringing and you want to share your story, reach out to me directly. I’d love to hear from you! You can reach me through our website or send me a message through our Instagram.

✏️ TCK and CCK Resources: Learn More Here

** If you decide to purchase the books through the links above, the show may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. 


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The in-betweenish pod is produced by Beatriz Nour
Music is composed and produced by Malik Elmessiry