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Culture Shock - Essay Example

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Different countries vary in their cultural practices and social and ethical values. When people go abroad, they find everything is different ranging from language and cuisines to customs and traditions (kidshealth.org, 2011)…
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Culture Shock
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Culture Shock

Download file to see previous pages... Different countries vary in their cultural practices and social and ethical values. When people go abroad, they find everything is different ranging from language and cuisines to customs and traditions (kidshealth.org, 2011). An individual’s tendency to experience the culture shock, depends to much an extent, upon the degree of freedom an individual allows himself/herself in matters of ethical significance as well as the extent to which the individual is extroverted or introverted. Most of the people experience the culture shock in their voluntary attempt to merge in the new culture. “You have to force yourself…to start acting like the people in this country. You don’t want to be looked at as a stranger. No one wants to be in this position” (Fadam, 2008). The more they try to enhance and facilitate their adjustment, the more they feel drawn out and sidelined. The feeling remains for a certain amount of time after which things begin to change for the better. Culture shock can be defined as the psychological distress and disorientation which an individual may feel when he/she moves from one culture to another with marked differences. Culture shock takes place when an individual’s “...cultural clues, the signs and symbols which guide social interaction, are stripped away. ...A difficult part of this process for adults is the experience of feeling like children again, of not knowing instinctively the ‘right’ thing to do” (Piet-Pelon & Hornby, 1985). Culture shock makes an individual review his/her limits in different aspects of life. What makes the culture shock all the more complicated as a condition to identify oneself with is the fact that the person experiencing it does not actually know that he/she is affected by it. People undergoing a culture shock know that they are lonely, agitated and all but happy, but they are generally unaware of the fact that these feelings are associated with the cultural shift. The culture shock does not set in until after some weeks have been spent in the new culture. Typical feelings that can be taken as the symptoms of the culture shock include but are not limited to the preoccupation with physical unrest, agitation over insignificant matters, a longing desire to go back to the home country, inability to take proper sleep, sudden and unexplained mood shifts, lack of self confidence, idealization of the home country, lack of competence to solve simple issues, and the feeling of being abused and humiliated. America is a multicultural society. People from different parts of the world have been migrating to America over the centuries to make it increasingly multicultural. There are so many immigrants in America that the indigenous culture of the native Americans has become just one of many that exist in America today. What fundamentally makes the American culture stand out from the queue of the cultures of the rest of the countries is the very multiculturalism and dynamism the American culture has always displayed. A vast majority of people who migrate to America in search of a better standard of living come from the underdeveloped countries with more conservative cultures. These conservative cultures are very inflexible and are shaped and controlled by strong religious principles. The religious principles of the majority shape the culture of the underdeveloped countries. Hence, when people from the conservative cultures move to such a modernistic culture as that of America, they experience culture shock. American culture provides its citizens with the flexibility and freedom that the immigrants are not quite used to. Aspects of the American culture that become the basis of culture shock inc ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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