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Ivaljai Obykovj
Ivaljai Obykovj

Psychology Of Culture Shock


Psychology Of Culture Shock

in another country and experiencing a new culture. Eventually, as the excitement dies down and day to day challenges arise, we enter a state of crisis and anxiety, causing us to have hostile feelings about the host culture. The longer we are immersed in the culture and learn more about it, we adjust and recover from those hostile feelings. Finally, after some time we adjust even more and fully accept the new culture.

There are many strategies to cope more effectively while adapting to the changes of a new culture. Different things help different people and often trying more than one strategy can be helpful. The following are some suggestions:

*Community activities can be a way for you to get involved with other people and feel more involved in the community and culture in which you are in. Connecting with a Resident Assistant, host family, or other individuals may be a way to get you started.

It is natural for people living in a different culture to feel sad and lonely at times, and to miss their home culture, friends, and family. Sometimes, however, the stress of adapting to a new culture may reach a level in which added support is useful.

Crossing cultures can be a stimulating and rewarding adventure. It can also be a stressful and bewildering experience. This thoroughly revised and updated edition of Furnham and Bochner's classic Culture Shock (1986) examines the psychological and social processes involved in intercultural contact, including learning new culture specific skills, managing stress and coping with an unfamiliar environment, changing cultural identities and enhancing intergroup relations.The book describes the ABCs of intercultural encounters, highlighting Effective, Behavioural and Cognitive components of cross-cultural experience. It incorporates both theoretical and applied perspectives on culture shock and a comprehensive review of empirical research on a variety of cross-cultural travellers, such as tourists, students, business travellers, immigrants and refugees. Minimising the adverse effects of culture shock, facilitating positive msychological outcomes and discussion of selection and training techniques for living and working abroad represent some of the practical issues covered.The Psychology of Culture Shock will provide an essential reference and textbook for courses within psychology, sociology and business training. It will also be a valuable resource for professionals working with culturally diverse populations and acculturating groups such as international students immigrants or refugees.

Culture shock is an experience a person may have when one moves to a cultural environment which is different from one's own; it is also the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country, a move between social environments, or simply transition to another type of life.[1] One of the most common causes of culture shock involves individuals in a foreign environment. Culture shock can be described as consisting of at least one of four distinct phases: honeymoon, negotiation, adjustment, and adaptation.

Common problems include: information overload, language barrier, generation gap, technology gap, skill interdependence, formulation dependency, homesickness (cultural), boredom (job dependency), ethnicity, race, skin color, response ability (cultural skill set).[2] There is no true way to entirely prevent culture shock, as individuals in any society are personally affected by cultural contrasts differently.[3]

Culture shock is experienced by students who participate in study abroad programs. Research considering the study abroad experiences states that in-country support for students may assist them in overcoming the challenges and phases of culture shock. As stated in a study by Young et al., the distress experienced by culture shock has long-lasting effects therefore, universities with well-rounded programs that support students throughout the study abroad program, including preparation and post-program assistance, can alleviate challenges posed by culture shock, allow for global development and assist with the transition back into the home culture.[4]

During this period, the differences between the old and new culture are seen in a romantic light. For example, in moving to a new country, an individual might love the new food, the pace of life, and the locals' habits. During the first few weeks, most people are fascinated by the new culture. They associate with nationals who speak their language, and who are polite to the foreigners. Like most honeymoon periods, this stage eventually ends.[8]

After some time (usually around three months, depending on the individual), differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create anxiety. Excitement may eventually give way to unpleasant feelings of frustration and anger as one continues to experience unfavorable events that may be perceived as strange and offensive to one's cultural attitude. Language barriers, stark differences in public hygiene, traffic safety, food accessibility and quality may heighten the sense of disconnection from the surroundings.[9]

Still, the most important change in the period is communication: People adjusting to a new culture often feel lonely and homesick because they are not yet used to the new environment and meet people with whom they are not familiar every day. The language barrier may become a major obstacle in creating new relationships: special attention must be paid to one's and others' culture-specific body language signs, linguistic faux pas, conversation tone, linguistic nuances and customs, and false friends.

Again, after some time (usually 6 to 12 months), one grows accustomed to the new culture and develops routines. One knows what to expect in most situations and the host country no longer feels all that new. One becomes concerned with basic living again, and things become more "normal". One starts to develop problem-solving skills for dealing with the culture and begins to accept the culture's ways with a positive attitude. The culture begins to make sense, and negative reactions and responses to the culture are reduced.[10]

In the mastery stage individuals are able to participate fully and comfortably in the host culture. Mastery does not mean total conversion; people often keep many traits from their earlier culture, such as accents and languages. It is often referred to as the bicultural stage.

Gary R. Weaver wrote that culture shock has "three basic causal explanations": loss of familiar cues, the breakdown of interpersonal communications, and an identity crisis.[11] Peter S. Adler emphasized the psychological causes.[12] Tema Milstein wrote that it can have positive effects.[13]

Reverse culture shock is generally made up of two parts: idealization and expectations. When an extended period of time is spent abroad we focus on the good from our past, cut out the bad, and create an idealized version of the past. Secondly, once removed from our familiar setting and placed in a foreign one we incorrectly assume that our previous world has not changed. We expect things to remain exactly the same as when we left them. The realization that life back home is now different, that the world has continued without us, and the process of readjusting to these new conditions as well as actualizing our new perceptions about the world with our old way of living causes discomfort and psychological anguish.[18][self-published source]

There is evidence to suggest that the psychological influence of culture shock might also have physiological implications. For example, the psycho-social stress experienced during these circumstances is correlated with an early onset of puberty.[24]

Culture shock is a subcategory of a more universal construct called transition shock. Transition shock is a state of loss and disorientation predicated by a change in one's familiar environment that requires adjustment. There are many symptoms of transition shock, including:[25]

This section will discuss reverse culture shock -- the psychological, emotional and cultural aspects of reentry. While the phenomenon of culture shock is increasingly well known (and relatively well prepared for in the foreign affairs community), reverse culture shock is not as recognized and understood. This is due in part to the fact that people are returning home. So why should "returning home" result in culture shock

It may be helpful to think of Reverse Culture Shock in terms of the culture shock one experiences when moving overseas. Many of the same events and circumstances that create stress when adapting to a foreign culture also create stress in the return trip. Craig Storti, in his book, The Art of Coming Home, notes that both stresses - culture shock and reverse culture shock - tend to follow the U-curve pattern explained later in more detail.

As with culture shock, many aspects of reverse culture shock are subjective, therefore each person will have a unique experience in readapting to his or her home culture. Research does, however, indicate some common patterns existing among most sojourners' reentry experiences. While reading about these common patterns, remember to keep an open mind about reverse culture shock and the various ways it may affect you and your individual family members. Issues specific to spouses and kids are also included at the end of this section.

These customs, routines and communications are cues that we depend on to direct our behavior. Over time, these cues have become second nature and predictable to us. In a sense, our culture actually helps define who we are.

As we immerse ourselves into a new culture, we become familiar with new practices. We learn the smells, the sounds, and the feel of our new location. We learn to interact with new people. All of this is incorporated into our new identity. Eventually, we become accustomed to our new way of life, not realizing that these little changes or customs define what we now find familiar. New routines become our norm. We create new identities through these routines and practices, immersing ourselves into the customs of our new "host" country. 59ce067264


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