Culture Schock Essay

1202 words - 5 pages

Culture in ancient times was defined as “the sum total of the equipment of the human individual, which enables him to be attuned to his immediate environment on the historical past on the other”. It reflects in effect what humans have added to Nature. It comprises the spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of a society and includes, in addition to the arts and letters, the value systems, traditions, modes of life and beliefs of the society. It also absorbs from other cultures and undergoes changes with time, sometimes beneficial, sometimes regressive. (Barlas, 15). Culture shock is a severe psychological reaction that results from adjusting to the realities of a society radically different from one’s own. The actual degree of culture shock may vary depending on the differences and similarities between the society studied and the persons’ own society. The symptoms may range from mild irritation to surprise or disgust. (Scupin, 124). Usually after the person experiencing culture shock learns the norms, beliefs, and practices of the community, the psychological disorientation of culture shock begins to diminish. This paper will be based upon culture shock and international business. There are three areas where culture shock could affect you: 1. Emotions-you have to cope with the stress of international work and keeping an emotional balance in order to perform in a business. 2. Thinking style- you have to understand how your counterparts think and be able to develop culturally effective solutions. 3. Social skills and social identity- you need effective social skills to establish new business relationships. (Marx, 25). This differs from manager to manager, some managers seem to adapt in an almost chameleon –like way to different countries, whereas others cling desperately to their habits and their national approaches. Working in a new culture can produce a variety of reactions, such as; · Confusion about what to do · Anxiety · Frustration · Exhilaration · Inappropriate social behavior · Inability to get close to your business partner and clinch the deal · Feeling isolated · Becoming depressed All of the above are possible reactions to culture shock, the shock we experience when we are confronted with the unknown the “foreign”. The term culture shock was coined by the anthropologists Oberg, who explained both the symptoms and the process of adapting to a different culture. The experience of a new culture is seen as an unpleasant surprise or shock- a shock that occur when expectations do not coincide with reality. (Marx, 5). In his original article, Oberg lists six main aspects of culture shock: 1. Strain caused by the effort to adapt. 2. Sense of loss and feelings of deprivation in relation to friends, status, profession and possessions. 3. Feeling rejected by or rejecting members of the new culture. 4. Confusion in role, values and self-identity. 5. Anxiety and even disgust/anger about foreign practices. 6. Feelings of...

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