Ann Baker Cottrell's

Ann Baker Cottrell
is Professor Emerita of Sociology, San Diego State University, Ph.D. Michigan State University
Research: with Ruth Hill Useem, a study of 604 American Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs).
Prior research 1) a three nation (India, U.K., U.S.) study of South Asian - Western marriages 2) female reentry students in Italian universities.

What / Who is a TCK?
Third culture kids (TCKs) are children/teens who live outside their passport country because of a parent's employment abroad in a representational role. The parents are employed by an organization that is not based in the country of residence (host country). In other words they are the children of diplomats and other governmental organizations including the military, missionaries and other representatives of religious organizations, businesses, educational institutions, international organizations such as the UN, CARE etc. They are generally expected to return to their "home" country for higher education and to make their permanent home in that country. Another term frequently used to describe this population is Global Nomad.

Expatriate is a broader term which encompasses these families. Expatriates are individuals/families living outside their passport country, usually expecting to repatriate at some point. This broader category includes those who are employed by host country governments or organizations as well as those who are abroad on their own, e.g. artists, retired.

CCK (Cross-cultural kid) is a term that is gaining acceptance as a way to acknowledge the fact that TCKs have a great deal in common with other individuals who have a complex cultural heritage such as immigrants, refugees, children of cross cultural marriages or children who grow up in a community dominated by another religion, race or ethnic group. Anyone whose childhood incorporates more than one culture for reasons such as those above is a Cross Cultural Kid.

Cottrell's & Useems' Third Culture & TCK articles, bibliography

TCK Researchers' groups (please let me know of other groups or meetings)
FIGT (Families in Global Transition) Research Network

TCK/ATCK Researchers