Culture Shock Essay examples
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1 Definition of Culture
Culture as the most complex terms has countless different definitions ranging from complicated phrases to the simple statement describing culture as "the way we do things around here". The widely used definition of culture is that of Meads (1951), "A body of learned behaviour, a collection of beliefs, habits and traditions, shared by a group of people and successively learned by people who enter the society"(Joynt and Warner, 1996, P. 33). Hofstede(1980) created the very illustrative definition of culture as "the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another". Again to Hofstede's…show more content…
With the rapid process of globalization, the individual's ability to adapt to new cultures is one of the most important elements of a successful assignment. Hence, anyone working on an international assignment has to be knowledge about the cultural aspects of the environment they are moving to.
2 Definition of Culture Shock
Nowadays there are many definitions for culture shock. The term Culture Shock was first mentioned in literature by Kalvero Oberg in 1960. In his article he defined Culture Shock as follows' the distress experienced by the sojourner as a result of losing all the familiar signs and symbols of social interaction' (Selmar, 1999, P.517). And these signs or cues include the thousand and one ways in which people orient themselves to the situations of daily life. Oberg mentioned at least six aspects of culture shock:
(1) Strain due to the effort required to make necessary psychological adjustments.
(2) A sense of loss and feelings of deprivation in regard to friends, status, profession and possessions.
(3) Being rejected by and/or rejecting members of the new culture.
(4) Confusion in role, role expectations, values, feelings and self-identity.
(5) Surprise, anxiety, even disgust and indignation after becoming aware of cultural differences.
(6) Feelings of
Culture Shock — What Is It
Once in a while people are forced by circumstances to move from may be their countries and maybe go into other countries. This could be for short visits and for others it may be for long durations; may be due to school or work. The experience of moving and going to settle in a new environment is never always interesting. The effect is however different for different people. Culture Shock is the disorientation and change that is experienced after an international relocation. The change is always due to difference in weather, culture, language, customs, values, landscape, mode of dressing and food. You will feel as if you are in the wrong place; everything will appear abnormal and you will often find things hard to comprehend. Culture shock is not exclusive for international relocation. Change of environment in for students and employees can also cause culture shock in most cases the productivity of the person is greatly reduced and they spend a lot of energy and time trying to get back on track or to get used to the new order of doing things.
Symptoms of Culture Shock
In most cases Culture Shock will appear like homesick to most people. Although many people will have different signs of culture shock, it is never hard to tell that someone is suffering from culture shocks. The most common is that someone may look sickly. They will feel sad and lonely. The following are common signs of Culture Shock; Sleeping problems, either sleeping too much or insomnia, getting angered really fast, feeling of being vulnerable or being a target, homesickness, getting obsessed with unusual stuff like cleanliness and urge to cook, feeling insecure and shy, missing your home culture and the fear of learning a new culture and trying to adapt.
All people have different symptoms and most are those that have a combination of them. In many cases people are emotional over very trivial issues and you need to be careful with them otherwise you may end up devastating them.
How to deal with Culture Shock
The best way to avoid or reduce Culture Shock is to be enthusiastic. Try to keep your fears at bay. Yearn for a positive interaction with the host and the culture of the people there. It is also important to try and do as much research on the culture of the host. At this time one will get to know of the possible causes of culture shock and find a way to handle it.