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(news) 40th Anniversary of the term 'Third Culture Kid"!

with 16 comments

Happy anniversary! 2009 is the 40th anniversary of the term ‘Third Culture Kid”.

You can learn about the origin of “Third Culture Kids” from the sociologist who coined the term, Dr. Ruth Hill Useem:
http://www.tckworld.com/useem/home.html (Credit: Ann Baker Cottrell)

“The Useems returned to India a second time in 1958, …. to study overseas Americans in India; they took their boys with them to live abroad on both visits. It was these experiences which led to John and Ruth Useem’s coining of the term “Third Culture” and, by extrapolation, “Third Culture Kids.” Dr. Ruth Hill Useem began publishing on Third Culture Kids in the 1960s. She is widely regarded as the founder of TCK research.”

It’s hard to believe it has been 40 years. It has been estimated that there are 4 million TCKs worldwide (1998, Eakin) but that number will continue to increase as the world becomes more globalized. Today, we have over 23,000 third culture kids and cross cultural people online with over 50 local groups worldwide.

It has been a great privilege to serve this community and to be part of it.

Happy anniversary to you!

Joyeux anniversaire,
Brice Royer

P.S: Would you like to celebrate the anniversary? Please repost this link on your Facebook or blog.


I would like to give a special thanks to Dave Pollock, Ruth Van Reken, Norma McCaig, Josh Sandoz, Margie Ulsh, Robin Pascoe, Donna Musil, Ann Baker Cottrell, Rebecca Anderson Powell, FIGT & Interaction International and everyone for their service to this community. Thank you!

Would you like to thank someone not on the list? Please leave a comment!

Written by brice

December 7, 2009 at 6:27 pm

  • Miyon

    happy b-day

  • Miyon (Michelle) Kim

    happy b-day

  • David

    Happy Birthday fellow TCKs!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cookie-Fischer/866190245 Cookie Fischer

    40 years!!! I hope it will not take another 40 years for our skills, talents and experience to be known and valued for what they are…extraordinary.

  • David

    Happy Birthday fellow TCKs!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cookie-Fischer/866190245 Cookie Fischer

    40 years!!! I hope it will not take another 40 years for our skills, talents and experience to be known and valued for what they are…extraordinary.

  • Martin Jaeschke

    Hi all,
    Wow! TCKs have come a long way. Happy anniversary!! It´s been a short 4 years since I heard that there is such a thing – in me – by the name Third Culture Kid, but it is exciting to be a part of it and finally know where I belong. Thank you for everything that happened in those 40 years. I am sure it involved much shed tears and perseverance but it was all the worthwhile.

  • EUN BUM CHO

    I am so glad that the TCK literature reached 40 years' cumulation. But do we really have that accumulation? I would say no. Since Useem & Useem's work, little has been done to explicate the complex third culture phenomenon, though there may have been some intermittent trials by other scholars. Social scientists need to discuss the significance of the TCK topic more seriously. I hope my study could be a little step towards such a scholarlistic endeavour. Anyway, Happy birthday TCKs!

  • http://wordpress.com/ Laura Stephens

    Forty years on I imagine the feelings are the same we just experience them in a different environment. With the communications we have now we can work together to make the world an easier place for TCKIDs to grow up. Happy B'day!

  • Martin Jaeschke

    Hi all,
    Wow! TCKs have come a long way. Happy anniversary!! It´s been a short 4 years since I heard that there is such a thing – in me – by the name Third Culture Kid, but it is exciting to be a part of it and finally know where I belong. Thank you for everything that happened in those 40 years. I am sure it involved much shed tears and perseverance but it was all the worthwhile.

  • EUN BUM CHO

    I am so glad that the TCK literature reached 40 years’ cumulation. But do we really have that accumulation? I would say no. Since Useem & Useem’s work, little has been done to explicate the complex third culture phenomenon, though there may have been some intermittent trials by other scholars. Social scientists need to discuss the significance of the TCK topic more seriously. I hope my study could be a little step towards such a scholarlistic endeavour. Anyway, Happy birthday TCKs!

  • http://wordpress.com/ Laura Stephens

    Forty years on I imagine the feelings are the same we just experience them in a different environment. With the communications we have now we can work together to make the world an easier place for TCKIDs to grow up. Happy B’day!

  • barbarareuteler

    40 years! O how different my life would have been if I had heard about TCK back then. I am a TCK age 66 now and it was only in 2000 that I first learned about this wonderful organization. I am so happy that there is support now for young people returning to “their city of origin” or should I be more correct in saying “their parents country of origin.” We TCK's provide the best support for those trying to adjust. Thanks to all of you who have brought this whole concept to light.

  • Anonymous

    40 years! O how different my life would have been if I had heard about TCK back then. I am a TCK age 66 now and it was only in 2000 that I first learned about this wonderful organization. I am so happy that there is support now for young people returning to “their city of origin” or should I be more correct in saying “their parents country of origin.” We TCK’s provide the best support for those trying to adjust. Thanks to all of you who have brought this whole concept to light.

  • http://for-tee-two.blogspot.com/ Tanya

    Thats so funny I didnt realise the term TCK was 'invented' on the same month and year I was born.

  • http://for-tee-two.blogspot.com/ Tanya

    Thats so funny I didnt realise the term TCK was ‘invented’ on the same month and year I was born.