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Culture Shock - Essay Example

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The rapid globalization has brought in an era of pluralistic society that is an amalgamation of people from different countries, races and religion.One of the most important compulsions of the change has been the emigration and immigration of people from one country to another. …
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Culture Shock
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The rapid globalization has brought in an era of pluralistic society that is an amalgamation of people from different countries, races and religion. One of the most important compulsions of the change has been the emigration and immigration of people from one country to another in order to pursue their personal and professional goals. The cultural shock is the condition that is prevalent in global economy. People, coming across from one culture to another that is vastly different from their own, experience the huge difference which is very unsettling and often find it difficult to adjust in the new environment. According to Dr. Guanipa, cultural shock has been aptly described as ‘the physical and emotional discomfort one suffers when coming to live in another country or a place different from the place of origin. Often, the way that we lived before, is not accepted or considered as normal, in the new place’ (internet, 1998).
The cultural shock experienced by the diverse communities in the current multicultural society due to widely disparate socio-cultural values, is one of the most important factors that needs to be fully understood in the broader context. The changing values necessitate development of a new social order which would not only embrace multi cultural values but help forge a universal bond that would transcend national and religious boundaries for peaceful co-existence.
Gender inequality and outlook towards casual sex are two of the most important cultural factors of the conservative cultures of the South-East Asian countries. When people from these countries travel to the West, especially America, they experience cultural shock. America is a land of opportunity and is characterized by its ever expanding diverse cultural paradigms. The democratic values are more emphatically visible here through equality between the genders and freedom of informed choices. The opportunities to exert those choices are openly practiced with societal support that an Indian immigrant, initially finds hard to accept. The language barriers, rules and regulations, food etc are other factors that make it difficult for them to overcome.
It is important to understand that dapting to different environment is a gradual process that happens in phases. Before completely getting acculturized in different culture, factors like social networking and learning the language and culture of their host country facilitates rapid adjustment. Initial loss of identity in the host country is gradually recovered by accepting the differences and adapting their own values according to the new environment. The hostility experienced at first is mitigated once immigrants become familiar with the new culture of their host country. Therefore, it is imperative that people must be prepared for changes in their lives when they travel abroad because there is always going to be unexpected elements of surprise and unexpectedness. It is equally true that time is a great medium of adjustment but little extra effort, always reduces the timeframe of adjustment.
Reference
Guanipa, Dr. Carmen. (1998). Culture Shock. Available from: < http://edweb.sdsu.edu/people/cGuanipa/cultshok.htm> [Accessed 3 October, 2008]. Read More
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