Sample Dissertation

Words 10,398

Cultural shock is a complex occurrence ensuing from several causes or stressors which take place when an individual comes into contact with another culture.  Culture shock is an emotional uncertainty due to confusion or not understanding the signs in another culture.  It takes place because things like lack of understanding, little or no prior experience of the new society and personal inflexibility.  When one lives in a new culture it can lead him or her to go through daily questioning of previously held philosophy and ideas that may lead to confusion and anxiety. It can occur almost immediately when a person enters a new country or may occur a few months later. It may start with feeling generally unwell, lack of sleep, homesickness, isolation and anxiety. This is also accompanied by dissatisfaction with the host country, the university or living conditions. The term Culture Shock was first defined by Oberg when he referred to the stress and anxiety experienced by American expatriates when they went abroad.[1] In another study conducted by Mumford, (1998, 151; 2000, 78) the most significant determinant of culture shock was the Culture distance or the degree of distance between host and native culture. The other determinant was the level of ethnic and racial prejudice and discrimination demonstrated by the local population and the fluency of the local language in the host country, age and personality of the individual (Bhugra and Jones, 2001, 220; Ryan and Twibell, 2000, 428).

Culture shock happens in immigrants like international students, expatriates who move to a new country because of work assignments. The nature of societies like the UK and The US which are multicultural societies can lead to cultural conflict between the new entrant and the host country and create conflict and stress in the dealings of the new entrant (Winkelman, 1994).

[1] Oberg (1954)


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