Reflecting on your culture shock experience
a Think about your experience interacting with an American, English, Italian, Indian, Japanese, or any other nationality other than yours. You can reflect on many incidents or one single occasion that stands out in your memory. b Describe the situation What was the interaction about? How did the other person talk/behave? How did you talk/behave? Which “Argentinian Shock” did he/ she experience?
What is your definition of culture shock?
Where does culture shock happen? What could be the damage caused by culture shock? Why do we need to study this concept?
Definitions Feeling of disorientation, of discomfort due to the unfamiliarity of surrounding (Martin & Nakayama 1997: 169) Similar to a disease, complete with symptoms; if treated properly (learning the language, making friends, etc.) one can recover, adapt and feel at home. (Oberg 1960)
Topics Stages of Cultural Shock Alleviating Cultural Shock
Aspects of Cultural Shock
Topics Cultural shock is
the trauma you experience when you move into a culture different from your home culture frustrations may include - lack of food - unacceptable standards of cleanliness different bathroom facilities fear for personal safety
Culture shock includes
- hearing yes for no - having to bargain - having laughter used for anger
Major Symptoms of Cultural Shock
Homesickness Boredom Withdrawal (avoiding contact with host nationals) Need for excessive amounts of sleep Compulsive eating/drinking Irritability Exaggerated cleanliness
Marital stress Family tension and conflict Chauvinistic excesses Stereotyping of host nationals Hostility toward host nationals Loss of ability to work effectively Unexplainable fits of weeping Physical ailments (psychosomatic illnesses)
Asia Shock has five progressive stages:
Frustration with the culture, which includes the language, food, and an exasperation with local customs. Unwillingness to understand the rationale behind the local ways of doing things. Ethnocentricity; British persons label Asians as dishonest because they say one thing and do another; consider face-saving as dishonest. Racism – use of unflattering labels for Asians. Avoidance of the culture; British persons form clubs rather than intermingle with people of the culture.
Strategies for Coping with a New Culture During Short Visits
Nonacceptance of the host culture; traveler behaves as he/she would in the home culture. Substitution - The traveler learns the appropriate responses/behaviors in the host culture and substitutes these responses/behaviors for the ones ordinarily used in the home culture.
Addition - The person adds the behavior of the host culture when in the presence of nationals but maintains the home culture behavior with others of the same culture. Synthesis - Integrates or combines elements of the two cultures, such as combining British dress and that of India.
Resynthesis - The integration of ideas not found in either culture (British traveler to India chooses to eat neither British nor Indian food, but prefers Italian).
Stages of Cultural Shock
Stage 1: Excitement and fascination with the new culture; the "honeymoon" stage. Stage 2: Crisis or disenchantment period; excitement has turned to disappointment. Stage 3: Adjustment phase; you begin to accept the new culture, try new foods, see the humor in situations. Stage 4: Acceptance or adaptation phase; feel at home in the new culture and become involved in activities of the culture. Stage 5: Reentry shock; follows the stages identified earlier: initial euphoria, crisis or disenchantment, adjustment, and adaptation.
U-Curve Honeymoon Reentry Crisis Acceptance Adjustment
To alleviate cultural shock, try to see the environment from the perspective of the host nationals.
Survival skills: how to cook, eat, work, rest, do banking, seek transportation, etc. Seek more psychological assurances Modify attitudes and behaviors Develop intercultural friendships Find motivation for acculturation Work through education, membership, occupation, and media usage
Aspects of Cultural Shock
Cultural Stress - alleviate stress by reading up on the country, studying the language, and becoming aware of customs and traditions in the culture. Social Alienation - cultivate friendships with persons from home and host cultures; include host nationals in social events.
Social Class and Poverty-Wealth Extremes - mentors in host culture can be helpful in advising British persons regarding acceptable ways of dealing with poverty-wealth extremes. Financial Information - should be provided before going to the culture; also financial counseling before reentry.
“One of the byproducts of a successful adjustment to the host culture is that our old notions of our culture will never again be the same” Adapted from © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
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