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Meeting Difference. Difference When and why is it a problem? And when and why is it not?

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Presentation on theme: "Meeting Difference. Difference When and why is it a problem? And when and why is it not?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Meeting Difference

2 Difference When and why is it a problem? And when and why is it not?

3 Culture „socially transmitted beliefs, values, and practices … shared ideas and habits” (Latane, 1996) „shared distinctive behavioral norms that are omnipresent and may appear natural, and are transmitted to new members of the culture” These norms provide interpretive perspectives that assist in the perception and cognition of events” (Lehman et al. 2004)

4 Affordance and prescriptions: what persons within the group can or should do Contraints or proscriptions: what they should not do → a shared system beliefs (what is true) values (what is important) expectations and behavior meanings developed by the group over time → may not be overtly apparent or easily verbalized, since culture is lived (Bond, 2004)

5 Cultural groups People who share history, current problems, common experiences, language, values, similar adaptations or behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes as well as the passingon of these similarities ti future generations. - large: Western civilization - small: college, etc

6 Cultures of place (Newcomb, 1967: growing similarity of attitudes and beliefs among people living in close proximity) Disability cultures Political cultures (conservatism, liberalism, pacifism, socialism, feminism, etc) Culture of Singleness

7 How do I describe myself? Not all of our cultural ties are equally important It may be affected in response to a personal crisis or to a crisis for the cultural community. „A racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, or heterosexist event, or series of events, in one’s neighborhood or workplace or city may turn a relatively dormant or low-strength identity into one with far greater salience” (Lott)

8 Culture Shock “when all the cues and underlying assumptions that we have about how the world works suddenly don’t work anymore” “returns us to the mental state of an infant” (Geert Hofstede)

9 Why is it shock? Our culture defines who were are, what we believe in. In a way, being able to maneuver in it helps to validate us as a person. It contributes towards our self- esteem. Now you go to a place where you can’t talk, you may not eat “right” and you have to learn the “correct” way to do things all over again. You are an adult in a place where nothing that you know really counts.

10 Symptoms It can lead to depression, feelings of loneliness, anxiety, fear, withdrawal, helplessness, and hatred towards the new culture.

11 Stages of culture shock I. Honeymoon II. Initial Culture Shock III. Initial Adjustment IV. Further Culture Shock V. Further Adjustment

12 I. Honeymoon Time frame: First week or two in host country Characteristics: Exposure to country and culture is limited. Excitement and enthusiasm abound. Attitude toward host country is generally positive. Little is expected of you. “Oh, these people eat so much healthier than we do. Their city is more beautiful. I’m going to like it here.” These feelings are similar to what you experience when you visit a foreign country on holiday or for a business trip.

13 II. Initial Culture Shock Time frame: First few weeks Characteristics: Wider exposure to country and culture means more realistic and more mixed reactions. Enthusiasm is tempered with frustration. Feelings of vulnerability and dependence are common. Homesickness is frequent. Nothing is routine. Limited language ability undermines confidence. You are no longer treated as an honored guest. You are now expected to do things on your own. These frustrations can quickly lead to feelings of dread and withdrawal. You don’t even want to go out to do things because you are already imagining all of the problems you will have. It’s just easier to stay home.

14 III. Initial Adjustment Characteristics: Routines are reestablished. Some aspects of the country & culture are now seen as normal. Adjustment to the physical aspects of the host country is better. You still may face frustrations, but at least you’re learning to function within the context of your new culture. It may mean not being so upset if someone arrives “late” or even being “late” yourself at times. It may mean “standing in line” the same way your fellow countrymen do and not feeling guilty about it or not being upset when someone “breaks” the line and is served when you’ve already been standing there for 10 minutes.

15 IV. Further Culture Shock Time frame: settling-in period. Characteristics: You're adjusting to being on your own in country. It's your first experience taking care of yourself in country. You're having your first encounters with the work-related aspects of culture, with initial surprises and frustrations. You're surprised at still having culture shock to go through.

16 V. Further Adjustment Time frame: Post settling-in. Characteristics: You're getting used to being on your own. You're better able to take care of yourself. You're making friends in the community. You speak the language better. You're more effective at work because you understand the culture better.

17 This stage is when you have reached a stable state of mind meaning that you have permanently adjusted to your new culture. That doesn’t mean you like it. You can dislike it (you’ll never feel like you’re a part of it), you can be neutral (you may not agree with the way things are done and you aren’t going to give up your beliefs and values, but you understand why they do what they do and you can operate within that context), or you may think that everything is so great about your new culture that you abandon your own and “go native.” It seems to be the general consensus that being neutral towards your new culture is the healthiest form of adjustment.

18 I. Honeymoon II. Initial Culture Shock III. Initial Adjustment IV. Further Culture Shock V. Further Adjustment 1. I'm sick of these bugs. 2. I thought I knew this stuff! 3. You call that a toilet? 4. I'd give anything for a meal without rice. 5. These people are all so nice 6. Homesick? For what? 7. I'm getting used to these toilets, believe it or not. 8. This language actually makes sense once in a while.

19 I. Honeymoon II. Initial Culture Shock III. Initial Adjustment IV. Further Culture Shock V. Further Adjustment 9. I don't believe it! They said I shouldn't jog here. 10. Bugs? What bugs? 11. You know, I actually prefer Turkish toilets. 12. I'll never learn this language. 13. Are you kidding? I can't eat curry (or beans) without rice. 14. I never thought my problem would be too much free time. 15. I actually prefer soccer to jogging; you meet more people. 16. What a great place

20 Methods of dealing with culture shock 1)Know that it is a normal part of adjusting to a new culture and that others are or have experienced it too. 2)Learn the language. Being fluent will take time and practice, but you’ll never get there if you don’t start. Don’t be ashamed to cary a dictionary around with you. If people know you are trying it’s amazing how helpful they can be.

21 3) Join the gym, an organization, or take classes. All of these things will force you to get out of the house and interact with others. Plus if you are used to being in shape then getting sluggish will just add to your depression. 4) Be realistic. You aren’t going to conquer a new culture in a day. And even once you think you’ve overcome your culture shock, you’ll still have your bad days. But didn’t that even happen at home?

22 5) Become a regular and learn key people who can help. If your grocer or a certain clerk at the post office knows you, it’s likely that he/she will give you helpful hints and help you with the language as well. They will be proud when you start speaking to them in their native tongue. 6) Learn as much about the culture before you go as you can. Do you know people from the place you are going or people who have spent time there in the past? Listen to their stories. Ask questions. And don't doubt their experiences. Don't think "Well that may have happened to you, but it won't happen to me" because chances are, it will.

23 The experience of somebody who came from another country … What kind of cultural differences did she/he face, how did he/she react? Did she/he have a cultural shock?

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