Culture Shock

Definition/ Example used is a sentence please? If one has been living in another country for a long time - noted the obvious differences, felt comfortable, then begun to realize there are other more fundamental, but subtle differences - finally they will learn that folks have different ways of solving the same challenges. The problem is then that one may suffer even more severe cultural shock upon returning home. In some places the cars are too large, the people too hurried, families are not extended anymore. In others, comfort is all consuming - and, for others economic growth trumps concern for the environment or sometimes even for the people. And then, when someone asks, "how was it in..." and you begin to answer, the questioner (if not another expatriate or wanderer) begins to glaze over - and, is soon talking to someone else.

The presence of the above criteria will generally bring on culture shock. One criterion alone may be sufficient if it is of enough significance to the individual.

There may be a special category of culture shock called culture fatigue (see below) in which one is able to adapt via all the criteria above, yet over an extended period of time suffers fatigue from the cumulative effect of having to negotiate large numbers of seemingly trivial differences over a period of time.

Culture shock can also be caused by a heightened level of social awareness referred to as "societal acuity deviation".

The result of culture shock is an impaired ability to adapt or function in the target culture. Culture shock is a barrier to socializing, learning, and generally functioning in the target culture.


Do you mean that Canadians don't have the right to refuse interrogation without a lawyer present (and other related rights which were the subject of the US Supreme Court's decision in Miranda vs. Arizona), or are you simply observing that the Miranda decision, being handed down by the US Supreme Court, has no legal significance in Canada? If the latter, that seems obvious. :) If the former, that is surprising. Great memories about rubber/eraser terminology. My first week out of the USA and into a school in India, (8th class), the History teacher did not approve of the very amateur free-hand map I had drawn of India. To correct it, he instructed me to bring him a rubber, a straight-edge, and a blade. When I repeated the list to my seat mate, I was handed what I would have termed: an eraser, a ruler, and a razor blade! Try attending the sexual harassment orientation sessions for foreign TAs in a university (in US) with many foreign students, you may experience some CultureShock when the lawsuit-happy situation of the US culture is made explicit. Your statement will definitely be included in the Possible Sexual Harassment list, other things to avoid includes prolonged stares for whatever reason, being alone with student of opposite sex for any length of time. - from someone who has attended such sessions.
Solution There is no solution to culture shock except to try to learn the culture, and the way to do that is to watch and listen while withholding judgment for a while. Be careful of what you say and do, because it is easy for others, not knowing your culture, to misunderstand you. In time, you will learn the other culture and then you can participate at ease.

Other Similar culture shock may be experienced in this wiki, especially for people used to other moderated mediums, such as blogs, usenet, mailing lists or SlashDot.

Think of this wiki as writing on the sand. Ward is kind enough to open this beach to us, you can write practically anything you want, but others are free to move it, edit it or even delete it. You can delete anything you want, but others may restore just as fast. Just be glad that there is no wind or tide.

Do not take offense if someone deletes your writings, because none may be intended. Perhaps your writing just doesn't fit the page it is in, or perhaps others think they do not belong here. There are social norms in this wiki that are difficult to state explicitly.

You just have to watch and learn.

Examples of Culture shock

Culture fatigue

This state could be described as an intermediary state between a new comer and an adapted individual. In the beginning, one doesn't know what it means to belong to the culture. At the opposite, the adapted have no problems understanding the culture (no questions about the choices he makes in regards to everyday challenges - e.g. pro, contra or neutral to the culture). In between these two states - new or adapted, one goes through a mental and sometimes physical pain trying to understand and control to a certain level what is going around. The end of this state is reached gradually, after one paid a lot of attention to the people and things around, and eventually understood the ranking of values and the ways one can achieve them.

I'd avoid "belonging" to a culture. Not all people who adapt to a culture ever belong to it. Some people rise above their animalistic tendencies to become autonomous individuals with real personalities.

The best way to avoid culture shock is to accept that every culture has its own way of understanding things, and it all comes with evolution. You cannot expect every human being to be the same.

''Just to add in a few more examples I learned from working on the MSE (Masters of Software Engineering) program at Carnegie Mellon University, which typically has only a small percentage of American students: -Isn't this stereotyping? So, all Brazilians do this? Maybe you should phrase it: "one Brazilian" or "a Brazilian in our team". I am Brazilian AND reserved but this unfortunate stereotype has made it very difficult for me to express my opinions in any group settings as people often assume that if they give me the chance I will dominate the entire discussion. Not all Brazilians are the same!

My x Viet GF once quietly told me not to enter their kitchen. Of course I divined they'd snagged some almost-developed chicks & were licking the muscles off their bones.

Many years later, I heard on the inter-age the story of a little blond 10yo Denise the Menace type, with his yuppie mom, in a remote rural diner. "What'l it be?"

The boy in a perfectly sepulchral voice gravels "I want to consume the unborn."

His mom rescues the scene: "Eggs. He wants eggs."



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