Welcome to Danau Tanu’s online home

On social media, Danau Tanu claims to be an ‘Anthropologist for all things Third Culture Kid’.

To the more serious breed, Danau is a published author and researcher who holds a PhD in anthropology.

Danau’s doctoral dissertation is published as GROWING UP IN TRANSIT: The Politics of Belonging at an International School.

Now, she is Visiting Research Fellow at Waseda University and is doing research on Japan’s Multicultural Youth

More about Danau …

About Growing Up in Transit

… a riveting read …

International Schools Journal

… so original … ground-breaking…

Journal of Research in International Education

… a must-read for all leaders of international schools …

International Schools Journal

… a nuanced and evocative analysis of privilege …

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

This book offers profound insights …

Ruth Van Reken
Co-author of 'Third Culture Kids'

well‐written and engaging book … fresh analytical perspectives

Social Anthroplogy

… breathe[s] life into the ethnographic data …

Asia Pacific Journal of Education

Growing Up in Transit tells the story of teenagers' struggles with identity, belonging and internalized racism in their own words. It is based on Danau's doctoral research of high school students at an international school.

At thirty-something, I went back to high school to write a book about people who are popularly referred to as ‘Third Culture Kids’ or ‘global nomads.’

I wanted to probe the contradiction between the celebrated image of ‘global citizens’ and the economic privilege that makes their mobile lifestyle possible.

I was also interested in exploring the voices among this population that had yet to be heard.


International schools educate millions of young minds across the globe today. They claim to promote 'global citizenship' but are often Western centric.

Growing Up in Transit is the first engaging, anthropological critique of the way Western-style cosmpolitanism is institutionalized to perpetuate global, postcolonial inequalities.

Do you want to read extracts from the book and the reviews?

Current research

Since 2023, Danau has been in Tokyo doing research on Japan’s Multicultural Youth.

The research focuses on understanding how Japan’s diversifying population is changing the way we think of being Japanese.

POSTER. interview participants needed. BEING MULTICULTURAL in japan. If you're bilingual or culturally mixed in any way, we want to hear from you! Speech bubble: Am I Japanese enough? Contact details: Dr. Danau Tanu, Waseda University LINE dtanu

日本語 | Bahasa Indonesia

Featured in a textbook

Oxford IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book

A textbook for the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma programme

Oxford IB textbook showing Growing Up in Transit
Oxford IB Diploma Programme: IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book, pp. 97-98

Read more …

Reviews of Growing Up in Transit

“This ground-breaking book offers a foundation for studies in the new generation of international schools.’ • Journal of Research in International Education

“[A] riveting read … Danau Tanu delivers an exceptional, genuinely interesting, thought-provoking account … a must-read for all leaders of international schools.’ • International Schools Journal

[A] nuanced and evocative analysis of privilege.’ • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI)

“The author’s unique experience growing up as a Third Culture Kid enabled her to breathe life into the ethnographic data.’ • Asia Pacific Journal of Education

“This book offers profound insights on how class and race can play out among globally mobile children. I highly recommend it.’ • Ruth E. Van Reken, co-author, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds

Read more