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Outline

  1. Unpacking Culture Shock
    1. Characteristics of Culture Shock
      1. Culture shock: a stressful transition to an unfamiliar environment (NOTE: This is a brief description; see textbook for complete definitions.)
      2. Oberg’s identity disorientation state involves identity loss, strain, rejection, confusion and powerlessness.
      3. ABCs of culture shock:
        1. Affectively: anxiety, confusion, and desire to be elsewhere
        2. Behaviorally: confused as to norms and rules
        3. Cognitively: lack competence to interpret “bizarre” behaviors
    2. Pros and Cons of Culture Shock
      1. Negative implications: psychosomatic problems, etc.
      2. Effective management brings positive well-being, self-esteem, etc.
    3. Approaching Culture Shock: Underlying Factors—that produce better results
      1. Motivational orientation: volunteers do better than those who move involuntarily
      2. Personal expectations: realistic, accurate positive expectations
      3. Cultural distance: amount of difference between cultures
      4. Psychological adjustment: feelings of well-being and satisfaction. Do positive self-talk and positive situational appraisal.
      5. Sociocultural adjustment: ability to fit in
      6. Communication competence: mindfulness, culture-sensitive knowledge, etc.
      7. Personality attributes: tolerance for ambiguity, internal locus of control, etc. can help adaptation
    4. Initial Tips to Manage Culture Shock
      1. Increase motivation to learn about new culture
      2. Keep expectations realistic
      3. Increase linguistic fluency, understand values linked to behaviors
      4. Work on tolerating ambiguity and other flexibility attributes
      5. Develop close friends and acquaintanceships to manage loneliness
      6. Suspend ethnocentric evaluations of intercultural behaviors
  2. Intercultural Adjustment: Developmental Patterns
  3. Intercultural adjustment: short- and medium-term adaptive process of sojourners (temporary residents voluntarily abroad)
    1. The U-Curve Adjustment Model
      1. Initial adjustment: optimistic or elation phase
      2. Crisis: stressful phase, overwhelmed by their own incompetence
      3. Regained adjustment: settling-in phase, effective coping
    2. The Revised W-Shaped Adjustment Model: seven stages
      1. Honeymoon: excited, curious about new environment
      2. Hostility: major emotional upheavals (loss of self-esteem, self-confidence)
      3. types of “culture shockers:”
        1. Early returnees: aggressive or passive-aggressive strategies, blame new culture, exit prematurely
        2. Time servers: minimal host contact, avoidance strategies
        3. Participators: active strategies to adjust
      4. Humorous: learn to laugh at their cultural faux pas
      5. In-sync adjustment: “at home,” experience identity security
      6. Ambivalence: grief, nostalgia, pride, relief, at going home
      7. Reentry culture shock: not anticipating reentry shock (usually feel more depressed and stressed than during entry shock)
      8. Resocialization:
        1. Resocializers quietly assimilate with few changes
        2. Alienators never fit back into home culture
        3. Transformers act as agents of change in their home cultures
    3. Culture Shock: Peaks and Valleys
      1. Understand that peaks and valleys are part of growth process
      2. Be aware and keep track of goals
      3. Take time and space to adjust
      4. Develop strong and weak ties for a cushion, seek help in crisis
      5. Participate in host culture’s major cultural events
  4. Reentry Culture Shock
    1. Reentry Culture Shock: Surprising Elements—for sojourners
      1. Identity change
      2. Nostalgic and idealized images of home culture
      3. Difficulty reintegrating into old roles
      4. Letdown due to unexpected distance with family and friends
      5. Family and friends impatient with listening to sojourners’ stories
      6. Home culture’s demand for role conformity
      7. Absence of change in home culture, or too much change
    2. Resocialization: Different Returnees’ Profiles
      1. Returnees’ readiness to resocialize
      2. Degree of change in friendship/family networks
      3. Home receptivity conditions
  5. Intercultural Reality Check: Do-Ables
  6. Practical tools for managing sojourners’ culture shock:
    1. Realize culture shock is inevitable
    2. Arises due to unfamiliar environment; develop realistic positive outlook
    3. Establish broad-based and deeper contacts
    4. Host culture’s efforts can help
    5. Involves intense feeling of incompetence; seek positive mentors
    6. Transitional affective phase that varies in intensity; maintain sense of humor and emphasize positive aspects of environment


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