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Analyse the concepts of 'culture shock' and 'cultural adjustment' and critically assess some possible consequences of th - Essay Example

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Number: Course: University: Date: The concepts of ‘culture shock’ and ‘cultural adjustment’ and critically assess some possible consequences of these for international mobility in organizations. The aspect of culture is more than just a set of customs…
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Analyse the concepts of culture shock and cultural adjustment and critically assess some possible consequences of th
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Download file to see previous pages A culture may be thought of a network of shared meanings, which are easily taken as reality by those interacting within network. This view of culture upholds that a community of people is likely to create a general representation obtained from their shared experiences and then embrace these pre-set classes as background or setting against which incoming experiences are translated. People endeavor to structure the external world by corresponding external stimuli against internal theoretical patterns. After such a match is made, an individual is in a position to assign meaning to an outside event. If a match cannot be made, an individual may feel disoriented, frustrated or afraid. People with diverse cultures will see the world differently since they have been carefully sensitized to certain assortments of stimuli. An individual may not knowingly be conscious to the specific patterns of meanings assumed if he/she is interacting with people sharing the same view, because reality is taken for granted. It is through contact with people who view the world in a different perspective that one becomes aware of the cultural patterns he/she is embracing. It is from the movement and the interaction across cultures that the aspect of cultural shock comes about (Nelson et al, 2011, p 164). Culture shock is the distress experienced by a sojourner as an upshot of losing all the recognizable signs and symbol of social interaction, as well as their substitution with by other cues that are strange. The move to a new environment is a traumatic life event when sojourners have to cope with substantial culture change. The reason is that conflicts associated to the divergences in rules, values and meanings between the two cultures will be unavoidable. In other words, an individual may be so unfamiliar with the host surroundings that he/she has no guidance as to what, when and how to do (Cameron, 2010, p 3). People of certain occupations likely to be affected by culture shock are such as foreign students and intellectuals, teachers, business executives (expatriates), migrant workers, Peace Corps volunteers and social workers. Oberg highlighted six elements of culture shock. One is strain as a result of the effort needed to make essential psychological adaptations. Second is the sense of loss and feelings of deficiency with regards to profession, status, friends and possessions. The third element of culture shock entails being rejected and/or rejecting members of new cultures. Fourthly is the confusion in terms of role, role expectations, feelings, self identity and values. Fifthly is the anxiety, surprise and even disgust and resentment, after becoming cognizant of cultural differences. The last aspect is the feeling of helplessness as a result of the inability to handle the new environment. When living in a new environment, a student or sojourner goes through the following stages of cultural adjustment (Becker & Bhugra, 2005, p 18). Source: Becker & Bhugra, 2005, 19 Honeymoon This is the initial stage that a sojourner experiences at the commencement of the contact. The stage is characterized by fascination, euphoria, excitement and enthusiasm. Travelers experience positive attitude as similarities are considered as comfort, whilst differences are observed with interest. Crisis/hostility/ irritation This is the culture shock stage that is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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