Sociology Index


Culture Shock occurs where individuals encounter a new and different culture and experience a major disruption of their normal assumptions about social values and behavior. Old values seem unable to provide guidance in the new situation giving a culture shock. The new culture seems strange, unacceptable and culturally shocking. Culture Shock is experienced by individuals who travel to a very different society and discover cultural ideas and practices that differ very much from their own.

Culture Shock is common among groups who have opted for immigration and can sometimes affect whole societies if they are swept up in rapid social change. The concept of culture shock has been applied to the experiences of aboriginal people following colonial contact. A person from Europe or US does experience culture shock when she takes a taxi ride from the airport. Culture shock because the driver dodges cars, cows, monkeys dogs, and pedestrians in traffic.

Examples Of Culture Shock

What you think is gross may be considered a delicacy in other countries, dog meat for example.

Blowing nose in public and spitting around the place one sits can be seen in most parts of Asia, and more particulary in India.

There are customs and rituals that would make many recoil in disgust. As when people pierce their body with knives and steel as a religious offering.

Dog shit, human shit and cow dung on the street is a common sight in India and even in France. People from New York and Japan will find it disgusting.

Understanding the Shock in "Culture Shock." - Schnell, Jim 
"Culture shock" is the expression generally associated with the frustrations that occur when persons have difficulty functioning in a different culture or when persons are exposed to individuals from another culture. Culture shock typically occurs in a 4-stage process that can unfold over varying lengths of time: the honeymoon, crisis, resolution, and stabilization.

For one instructor who experienced culture shock while teaching in China, an incident with his students and plagiarized materials taught him that plagiarizing research documents is not considered a serious offense in China. The key to dealing successfully with culture shock rests with being able to recognize the stages of culture shock as they are being experienced. Once the shock in "culture shock" is understood, it can be changed from a frustrating experience to a learning experience.

Culture shock and the international student ‘offshore’ 
David Pyvis, Curtin University of Technology, Australia, Anne Chapman, University of Western Australia, Australia.
Within the context of higher education, it is the international student who travels to another country to study who is typically identified as the subject at risk of culture shock. This paper attempts to go further by suggesting that international students studying in their home country with an overseas institution may also experience culture shock as an effect of this engagement.

Culture Shock among Young British Volunteers Working Abroad: Predictors, Risk Factors and Outcome - David Bardwell Mumford, University of Bristol, UK 
This study investigates the factors and circumstances that predict culture shock in young British volunteers working abroad. A new questionnaire to measure culture shock was developed for the study, derived from the literature on culture shock and first-hand reports by volunteers. Cultural distance was the strongest predictor of culture shock. Higher culture shock scores at 3 weeks predicted a greater risk of early return home and lower satisfaction with their time abroad.

Second-Language Acquisition, Culture Shock, and Language Stress of Adult Female Latina Students in New York 
Lucia Buttaro, Department of Communications and Performing Arts, City University of New York.
The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the educational, cultural, and linguistic adjustments and experiences encountered by Hispanic adult females in learning English as a second language (ESL) and the relation of these experiences to the variables of language, culture, and education of adult Hispanic females.

Sharing culture shock through a collection of experiences
Azeez, B. Kerne, A. Southern, J. Summerfield, B. Aholu, I. Sharmin, E.
Abstract: Culture shock and cultural adaptation are phenomena that international students experience, while crossing boundaries. Digital collections can serve as a medium for sharing sensations and experiences. They can help overcome the sense of isolation and culture shock, by illustrating to an individual how others have similar experiences.

The new culture shock: the manager in the evolving information society
Linstone, H.A., Dept. of Syst. Sci., Portland State Univ., OR;
Abstract: Summary form only given. It is contended that managers, fully immersed in their immediate tasks and deadlines, may only belatedly recognize the profound changes triggered by the world around them. Mosaic structures are relapsing multilevel hierarchy.

The Role of the Physical Environment in Culture Shock 
Arza Churchman, Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning.
The concept of place attachment is examined within the context of a between-country migration situation, that of immigrants from the former Soviet Union to Israel.

Expatriate culture shock in China: a study in the Beijing hotel industry 
Authors: Kaye, Marianna; Taylor, William G.K.
Abstract: Explores the occurrence of culture shock in the population of expatriate managers working in the joint venture hotels in Beijing, China. The paper seeks to gauge the importance of a variety of factors that might influence the level of culture shock. Proposes a model which envisages culture shock as determined by situational factors and by the level of inter-cultural sensitivity of an expatriate. The findings demonstrate a strong inverse relationship between inter-cultural sensitivity and culture shock. Among situational factors, a managerial emphasis on motivating employees is associated with lower culture shock. A surprising finding is the tendency for Asian expatriates to experience greater culture shock for a given level of inter-cultural sensitivity.

The collective culture shock in transition countries - theoretical and empirical implications 
Authors: Feichtinger C.; Fink G.
Abstract: Individual culture shock is a well known and evidenced phenomenon. It describes the psychological and also physical reactions of a person staying abroad. Culture shock is the result of confrontation with a foreign culture. According to the authors such reactions also exist on the level of society as a whole. This “collective culture shock” influences management and business relations and causes problems. A theory of the collective culture shock is developed that analyses these problems and provides a framework for solutions.