2Culture Shock Opening discussion: Have you ever experienced living and studying in a new culture? How did you feel about it?Have you ever felt a sense of culture shock?Can you think of strategies and personal attitudes that would help you to make culture shock a positive learning experience?
4Potential Problems Extremely difficult Very difficult A little difficultNot difficultDifferences in weatherBeing away from the familyDifferences in the foodDifferent social customsDifferent living conditionsGetting used to new ways of learningAdjusting to new ways of doing thingsDifficulties in communicating with others
5Major Topics Defining culture shock Symptoms of culture shock Cultural transition processFighting culture shockDescribing experiences in a second culture
6Understanding Culture Shock A fish out of water: nervous, irritated, uncomfortableA ride on a roller coaster: ups and downsLooking at culture shock negatively: stress, fatigue and tensionLooking at culture shock positively: a learning experience
7Understanding Culture Shock Kalvero Oberg, a Swedish scholar, coined the term “culture shock” 50 years ago (“culture shock: Adjustment to New Cultural Environment”, 1960):the occupational disease of people who have been suddenly transplanted abroadDisease: a pun: both an ailment with its own symptoms and cure and a feeling of dis-ease, or unsettled uneasiness
8Culture shock: defining characteristics 1. Culture shock: a stressful transition to an unfamiliar environment2. ABCs of culture shock:a. Affectively: anxiety, confusion, and desire to be elsewhereb. Behaviorally: confused as to norms and rulesc. Cognitively: lack competence to interpret bizarre behaviors
9Culture shock is a natural process in which an individual learns about oneself and others. Culture shock is a common experience of people who have been suddenly transplanted abroad.Culture shock is caused by the anxiety that results from losing all the familiar signs and symbols or social contact.
10Symptoms of Culture Shock Culture shock refers to phenomena ranging from mild irritability to deep psychological panic and crisis.Culture shock is associated with feelings in the person of estrangement, anger, hostility, indecision, frustration, unhappiness, sadness, loneliness, homesickness, and even physical illness.
11Symptoms areboth physical: too much eating, drinking or sleeping, excessive concern about bedding, headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, sleepinessand psychological: depression, loneliness, withdrawn, anger, aggression, hatred, fear, hostility, homesickness.Glorifying the native culture and emphasizing the negative in the new culture
12Culture shock: pros and cons 1. Negative implications: psychosomatic problems, affective upheavals, interaction awkwardness, and cognitive exhaustion2. Effective management brings positive well-being, self-esteem, and behavioral competence
14Honeymoon period: fascinated, excited, elated Culture shock: physical and mental fatigue and stressInitial adjustment: beginning to adjust, more comfortable, willing to venture outMental isolation: lonely, confused identity, frustrated, psychologically isolatedAcceptance and integration: establish a routine, accustomed, blended culture identity, multicultural
15Practical tools for managing Sojourners’ culture shock: A. Realize culture shock is inevitableB. Culture shock arises due to unfamiliar environment; develop a support networkC. Stress is due to acute disorientation regarding unfamiliar norms and scripts; establish contacts with members of host cultureD. Intense feeling of incompetence; seek positive mentorsE. Transitional affective phase that varies in intensity; maintain sense of humor and emphasize positive aspects of environment
16Fighting Culture Shock To facilitate adjustment, one canRecognize that you are experiencing culture shockDevelop social relationships with people from one’s own country, with other newcomers, and with members of the new cultureMaintain a balance between two cultural patterns of behavior and beliefsMaintain your sense of humorKeep busyDo something you enjoyTry new things and laugh at your errorsBe flexible
17Managing culture shock: initial tips 1. Increase motivation to learn about new culture2. Keep expectations realistic and increase familiarity with new culture3. Increase linguistic fluency, understand values linked to behaviors4. Work on tolerating ambiguity and other flexibility attributes5. Develop close friends and acquaintanceships to manage loneliness6. Suspend ethnocentric evaluations of intercultural behaviors
18Developing Intercultural Competence Major topics:Necessity and possibility of developing intercultural competenceDefinition of intercultural competenceModels of intercultural adaptationPractical suggestions
19Intercultural communication might offer us a new friend whose cultural experiences we find exhilarating or an alternative world view that can help us better deal with world population or international strife.
20Improving intercultural communication is not only expedient, but also possible because The brain is an open system; our ability to learn and to changeWe have free choice; choosing strategies that improve how you communicate with people from different cultures
21Potential Problems in Intercultural Communication Seeking similarities: most of us prefer our own kind and avoid the unfamiliarUncertainty reduction: stress and frustration caused by the existence of uncertaintyDiversity of communication stylesStereotyping and prejudice: make in-group and out-group distinctionMisuse of powerCulture shockEthnocentrism
22Intercultural Communication Competence The affective dimension: open, tolerant, empathetic, sympatheticThe cognitive dimension: general and specific cultural knowledgeThe behavioral dimension: flexible, adaptable, adventurous
23Intercultural communication effectiveness is not a single but a multiple construct involving the major outcomes: job performance, cultural adaptation, and interpersonal relations.
24Intercultural Communication Effectiveness Task performance: do well at your job (job or career dimension)Ability to adapt to the new culture (everyday life dimension)Ability to establish healthy interpersonal relationships (emotional dimension)
25Task Performance Technical and professional performance ResourcefulnessCreativityOrganizational communicationManagement of taskPerformance evaluation
26Adaptability Flexibility Maturity Knowledge of host culture Language skillsNonjudgmental attitudePatienceRespect for cultureOpen-mindednessTolerance for ambiguityAppropriate social behavior
27Interpersonal Relationships FriendshipEmotional controlSense of humorEmpathyTrust othersPositive relations with strangersFamily relationsLack of ethnocentrism / prejudice
28Outcomes of Adaptation Psychological health: feeling comfortable in new cultural contextsFunctional fitness: being able to function in daily life in many different contexts; learning new ways of living and behavingIntercultural identity: one who acts situationally
29A Multicultural Person A new type of person whose orientation and view of the world profoundly transcends his indigenous culture is developing from the complex of social, political, economic, and educational interactions of our time. That is a multicultural person defined by Adler(1977,25)
30Models of cultural Adaptation The anxiety and uncertainty modelThe U-Curve modelThe transition modelThe flight or fight approachThe Communication-system Model
31The anxiety and uncertainty model The goal of effective intercultural communication can be reached by reducing anxiety and seeking information. (uncertainty and anxiety reduction)The most effective communicators are those who are best able to manage anxiety and predict and explain others’ behaviors with confidence(by Gudykunst, 1995,1998)
32The U-Curve model Phase 1: excitement and anticipation Phase 2: culture shockPhase 3: adaptation(by Sverre Lysgaard)
33The transition modelCulture shock and adaptation are just like any other adult transition (going away to college, getting married, moving from one part or the country to another). All of these transition experiences share common characteristics and provoke the same kinds of responses. All transition experiences involve change, including some loss and gain for the individual.(by Bennett, 1998)
34The flight or fight approach Faced with an unfamiliar situation:The flight approach: People tend to hang back, get the lay of the land, and see how things work before taking the plunge and joining in.The fight approach: people tend to get in there and participate, use the trial-and-error method.
35The Communication-system Model Adaptation is a process of stress, adjustment, and growth.Adaptation occurs through communication.Communication has a double edge in adaptation: more culture shock but better and faster adaptationThree stages of adaptation:1) taking things for granted, and surprise; 2) making sense of new patterns; 3) coming to understand new information(by Young Yun Kin, 1977, 1995)
36A Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity The ethnocentric stages:Denial (deny the existence of differences)Defense (acknowledge cultural differences, but create specific defenses against them for they are considered threatening)Minimization (cultural differences are trivialized, or defined as relatively unimportant
37The ethnorelative stages: Acceptance: cultural difference is both acknowledged and respected; respect for behavioral differences and for value differences.Adaptation: skills for relating to and communicating with people of other cultures are enhanced.Integration:integrate disparate aspects of one’s identity into a new whole while remaining culturally marginal.- by Bennett
38Practical Suggestions Know yourself: culture, attitudes, communication styleConsider the physical and human settings: timing, context, customsSeek to understand diverse message systemsDevelop empathyEncourage feedbackLearn about cultural adaptation