Sweet Home Alabama?An Exploration of Culture Shock TheoryErin Weston, Georgia College & State University
• Anxiety and stress reactions that some people experience when they live in a cultural and linguistic environment that is significantly different from their ownWhat is Culture Shock?
• Four Common Stages: • Fun • Flight • Fight • FitStage Based Models
• Differences are intriguing• You’re excited, stimulated and enriched• Still feeling close to everything back homeHoneymoon
• Differences create an impact• Experiences don’t feel new, and start to get you down• Confused, isolated and inadequate• Realize that familiar support systems are not easily accessibleDistress
• You start whining• Dislike culture, food, language…reject it as inferior• May develop prejudices and feel hostile to those around you• Start to idealize life back home• You may quit/give up after this stageRe-integration
• First stage in acceptance• You begin to emerge from the “fog”• Start to accept differences, more confident and better able to cope• Begin to appreciate where you areAutonomy
• You are yourself again!• You embrace your new cultural in a realistic light• You feel comfortable, confident and able to make decisions based on your preferences and values• You understand the differences and similarities between your own and the new culture• You no longer feel alone and start to feel at homeIndependence
• Understand that it is normal• Keep in touch with home• Focus on what you can control…don’t spend energy on things you can’t change• Don’t avoid major stressors, but also don’t make mountains out of molehills• Ask for help• Keep a journal• Compare and contrast• Ask questionsHow to overcome culture shock
• Immersion in a culture and moving through the stages of culture shock is a significant learning experience• It makes you more aware of aspects of your own culture• It’s not a sign you’ve made a mistake or that you won’t manageWhy it’s good
RELEVANCE IN ADVISING?Do we see this in our students, co-workers, orourselves?
• Erin Weston Georgia College & State University firstname.lastname@example.org 478.445.2634• http://www.deborahswallow.com/• http://www.studentsabroad.com/cultureshock.html• Analysis of Impact of Culture Shock on Individual Psychology Xia, Junzi.International Journal of Psychological Studies1. 2 (Dec 2009): 97-101.• CULTURE SHOCK IN INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION Flanja, Delia.Studia Universitatis Babes- Bolyai. Studia Europaea, suppl. SPECIAL ISSUE ON THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE INTERNATIONAL..54. 4 (2009): 107- 124.Resources