Culture shock is the difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own.<br />The shoc...
Culture shock is the difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own
Culture shock is the difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own
Culture shock is the difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own
Culture shock is the difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own
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Culture shock is the difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own

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Culture shock is the difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own

  1. 1. Culture shock is the difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own.<br />The shock of moving to a foreign country often consists of distinct phases, though not everyone passes through these phases and not everyone is in the new culture long enough to pass through all five. There are no fixed symptoms ascribed to culture shock as each person is affected differently.<br />Phases of cultural shock:<br />Honeymoon Phase<br />During this period the differences between the old and new culture are seen in a romantic light, wonderful and new. For example, in moving to a new country, an individual might love the new foods, the pace of the life, the people's habits, the buildings and so on. During the first few weeks most people are fascinated by the new culture. They associate with the nationals that speak their language and are polite to the foreigners. This period is full of observations and new discoveries. Like many honeymoons this stage eventually ends.“When an individual sets out to study, live or work in a new country, he or she will invariably experience difficulties with language, housing, friends, school, work…”<br />Negotiation Phase<br />After some time (usually three months but it may be sooner or later depending on the individual), differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create anxiety. That sense of excitement will eventually give way to new and unpleasant feelings of frustration and anger as you continue to have unfavorable encounters that strike you as strange, offensive, and unacceptable. These reactions [...] are typically centered on the formidable language barrier as well as stark differences in: public hygiene; traffic safety; the type and quality of the food [...]<br />Adjustment Phase<br />Again, after some time (usually 6 – 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 ways with a positive attitude. The culture begins to make sense, and negative reactions and responses to the culture are reduced.<br />Mastery Phase<br />In the mastery stage assignees are able to participate fully and comfortably in the host culture. Mastery does not mean total conversion, and people are capable of not adopting some aspects of the host culture. It is often referred to as the biculturalism stage.<br />Reverse Culture Shock<br />Reverse Culture Shock (A.k.a. “Re-entry Shock” or “own culture shock may take place — returning to one's home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects as described above. This results from the psychosomatic and psychological consequences of the readjustment process to the primary culture. The affected person often finds this more surprising and difficult to deal with than the original culture shock.<br />Organisation culture:<br />Organizational culture is an idea in the field of organizational studies and management which describes the psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values (personal and cultural values) of an organization. It has been defined as "the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organization." <br />This definition continues to explain organizational values, also known as "beliefs and ideas about what kinds of goals members of an organization should pursue and ideas about the appropriate kinds or standards of behavior organisational members should use to achieve these goals. From organisational values develop organizational norms, guidelines, or expectations that prescribe appropriate kinds of behavior by employees in particular situations and control the behavior of organisational members towards one another."<br />Mergers, organizational culture, and cultural leadership<br />One of the biggest obstacles in the way of the merging of two organizations is organizational culture. Each organization has its own unique culture and most often, when brought together, these cultures clash. When mergers fail employees point to issues such as identity, communication problems, human resources problems, ego clashes, and inter-group conflicts, which all fall under the category of “cultural differences”. One way to combat such difficulties is through cultural leadership. Organizational leaders must also be cultural leaders and help facilitate the change from the two old cultures into the one new culture. This is done through cultural innovation followed by cultural maintenance.<br />Cultural innovation includes: <br />Creating a new culture: recognizing past cultural differences and setting realistic expectations for change <br />Changing the culture: weakening and replacing the old cultures <br />Cultural maintenance includes: <br />Integrating the new culture: reconciling the differences between the old cultures and the new one <br />Embodying the new culture: Establishing, affirming, and keeping the new culture <br />Strategies for Coping with Stress out of cultural shock<br />Take care of yourself: Rest, develop daily routines, protect your health.<br />Reduce uncertainty: Seek information, take action.<br />Get away from it all: Exercise, read, play.<br />Reduce demands: Establish priorities, eliminate some activities, reduce self-imposed demands.<br />Assume control: Make choices and decisions, make your needs known.<br />Finish unfinished business: Write it out, express emotions, set short-term goals.<br />Take advantage of your environment: Establish a support group, use resources, share in others’ experiences.<br />How to cope up with cultural shock?<br />Culture shock can be prevented by striving to become more culturally relativistic and flexible in your thinking and behaviour, by developing a real enthusiasm for learning about the host culture and by forming real intercultural relationships. Successful cross-cultural communications is a fairly straightforward proposition. With the correct attitude, a few good cultural informants, a few cross-cultural communications concepts and some time spent as a participant-observer, a person will quite naturally develop a repertoire of intercultural interaction skills. And, when a person begins to move further along the continuum of cross-cultural understanding and interaction, they will more quickly put down ego-identity roots in the new host culture and feel more at ease with themselves and their surroundings. They will become more happy and productive at work, at home or while moving about within the society at large. They will no longer be negatively affected by disconfirmed expectancies. They will understand more and be understood more by others. In short, they will have become bicultural individuals.<br />

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