Chapter 5 What Is Culture Shock? chapter 5 objectives and outline chapter 5 Objectives



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CHAPTER 5

What Is Culture Shock?
CHAPTER 5 OBJECTIVES AND OUTLINE

Chapter 5 Objectives:
As a result of reading Chapter 5 and participating in related class discussions and activities, you should be able to:
(1) Define “A-B-C” and appreciate the pros and cons of culture shock;
(2) Identify factors that shape the development and outcome of intercultural adjustment;
(3) Try out different constructive strategies to manage culture shock as you move from a familiar environment to an unfamiliar one;
(4) Track the ebb and flow of the developmental process along the W-shaped intercultural adjustment model;
(5) Realize that both entry culture shock and reentry culture shock are inevitable and often contain many surprising elements; and
(6) Develop empathy for your intercultural friends, classmates, neighbors, and work colleagues as they move up and down in their roller-coaster sojourning experience.


Chapter 5 Outline:

I. Unpacking Culture Shock

A. Characteristics of Culture Shock

1. Culture shock: a stressful transition to an unfamiliar environment (NOTE: This is a brief description; see textbook for complete definitions.)

2. Oberg’s identity disorientation state involves identity loss, strain, rejection, confusion and powerlessness.

2. ABCs of culture shock:

a. Affectively: anxiety, confusion, and desire to be elsewhere

b. Behaviorally: confused as to norms and rules

c. Cognitively: lack competence to interpret “bizarre” behaviors

B. Pros and Cons of Culture Shock

1. Negative implications: psychosomatic problems, etc.

2. Effective management brings positive well-being, self-esteem, etc.

C. Approaching Culture Shock: Underlying Factors—that produce better results

1. Motivational orientation: volunteers do better than those who move involuntarily

2. Personal expectations: realistic, accurate positive expectations

3. Cultural distance: amount of difference between cultures

4. Psychological adjustment: feelings of well-being and satisfaction. Do positive self-talk and positive situational appraisal.

5. Sociocultural adjustment: ability to fit in

6. Communication competence: mindfulness, culture-sensitive knowledge, etc.

7. Personality attributes: tolerance for ambiguity, internal locus of control, etc. can help adaptation

D. Initial Tips to Manage Culture Shock

1. Increase motivation to learn about new culture

2. Keep expectations realistic

3. Increase linguistic fluency, understand values linked to behaviors

4. Work on tolerating ambiguity and other flexibility attributes

5. Develop close friends and acquaintanceships to manage loneliness

6. Suspend ethnocentric evaluations of intercultural behaviors

II. Intercultural Adjustment: Developmental Patterns

Intercultural adjustment: short- and medium-term adaptive process of sojourners (temporary residents voluntarily abroad)

A. The U-Curve Adjustment Model

1. Initial adjustment: optimistic or elation phase

2. Crisis: stressful phase, overwhelmed by their own incompetence

3. Regained adjustment: settling-in phase, effective coping

B. The Revised W-Shaped Adjustment Model: seven stages

1. Honeymoon: excited, curious about new environment

2. Hostility: major emotional upheavals (loss of self-esteem, self-confidence)

3 types of “culture shockers:”

a. Early returnees: aggressive or passive-aggressive strategies, blame new culture, exit prematurely

b. Time servers: minimal host contact, avoidance strategies

c. Participators: active strategies to adjust

3. Humorous: learn to laugh at their cultural faux pas

4. In-sync adjustment: “at home,” experience identity security

5. Ambivalence: grief, nostalgia, pride, relief, at going home

6. Reentry culture shock: not anticipating reentry shock (usually feel more depressed and stressed than during entry shock)

7. Resocialization:

a. Resocializers quietly assimilate with few changes

b. Alienators never fit back into home culture

c. Transformers act as agents of change in their home cultures

C. Culture Shock: Peaks and Valleys

1. Understand that peaks and valleys are part of growth process

2. Be aware and keep track of goals

3. Take time and space to adjust

4. Develop strong and weak ties for a cushion, seek help in crisis

5. Participate in host culture’s major cultural events

III. Reentry Culture Shock

A. Reentry Culture Shock: Surprising Elements—for sojourners

1. Identity change

2. Nostalgic and idealized images of home culture

3. Difficulty reintegrating into old roles

4. Letdown due to unexpected distance with family and friends

5. Family and friends impatient with listening to sojourners’ stories

6. Home culture’s demand for role conformity

7. Absence of change in home culture, or too much change

B. Resocialization: Different Returnees’ Profiles

1. Returnees’ readiness to resocialize

2. Degree of change in friendship/family networks

3. Home receptivity conditions

Iv. Intercultural Reality Check: Do-Ables

Practical tools for managing sojourners’ culture shock:

A. Realize culture shock is inevitable

B. Arises due to unfamiliar environment; develop realistic positive outlook

C. Establish broad-based and deeper contacts

D. Host culture’s efforts can help

E. Involves intense feeling of incompetence; seek positive mentors

E. Transitional affective phase that varies in intensity; maintain sense of humor and emphasize positive aspects of environment


CHAPTER 5 CHECK-UP

Check out the following cultural literacy questions and self-assessment questions:
Self-Assessment Quiz: Use this quiz to learn about the variety of “culture shock” feelings that may be experienced.

Think back to the last time you traveled to an entirely new place or unfamiliar environment. Did you feel anxiety or excitement?


POP-UP ANSWER:

You may have felt both anxiety and excitement, for culture shock involves a variety of feelings that vary over time and in intensity.

To check out more culture shock feelings, see my.blog 5.1 in the text on page 94.

Self-Assessment Quiz: Use this quiz to learn about social support, one critical need for an individual experiencing culture shock. To get through a major transition such as moving from high school to college, did you have friends or acquaintances who:

a. explained the necessary information to help orient you to your new surroundings?

b. reassured you that you were supported and cared for?

POP-UP ANSWER:

It would be best to have friends and acquaintances who do both of these things. In fact, the higher the social support, the easier the adjustment to a new environment.

Check out my.blog 5.2 in the text on page 97 to take a full assessment of your social support circle.
Jeopardy Quiz: Can you name the top three worldwide tourist destinations?
POP-UP ANSWER:

1. France

2. United States

3. Spain


To see the top five, check out Jeopardy Box 5.1 in the text on page 99.

Jeopardy Quiz: Can you name the top three countries of origin of visitors to the United States?

POP-UP ANSWER:

1. Canada

2. Mexico

3. the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales)

To see the top five, check out Jeopardy Box 5.2 in the text on page 99.


Jeopardy Quiz: Can you name the top three tourism cities in the United States?
POP-UP ANSWER:

1. New York City

2. Miami

3. Los Angles

To see the top five, check out Jeopardy Box 5.3 in the text on page 99.
Jeopardy Quiz: Can you name the top three countries of origin of international students to the United States?

POP-UP ANSWER:

1. China


2. India

3. South Korea

To see the top five, check out Jeopardy Box 5.4 in the text on page 100.

Jeopardy Quiz: Can you name the top three study abroad locations for U.S. college students?

POP-UP ANSWER:

1. the United Kingdom

2. Italy

3. Spain


To see the top five, check out Jeopardy Box 5.5 in the text on page 100.
Hit-or-Miss Quiz: Can you name the top three college majors of international students studying in the United States?
POP-UP ANSWER:

1. Business and Management

2. Engineering

3. Physical and Life Sciences

To see the top five, check out Hit-or-Miss 5.1 in the text on page 100.

Hit-or-Miss Quiz: Can you name the top three college majors of U.S. students studying abroad?
POP-UP ANSWER:

1. Social Sciences

2. Business and Management

3. Humanities

To see the top five, check out Hit-or-Miss 5.2 in the text on page 101.

CHAPTER 5 GLOSSARY-MATCHING QUIZ

Match the following five terms with their respective definitions:

a. Psychological adjustment

b. Cultural distance

c. Intercultural adjustment

d. Culture shock

e. Sociocultural adjustment

___ 1. A stressful transitional period when individuals move from a familiar environment into an unfamiliar one.

___ 2. Differences between the home culture and the new culture in such factors as cultural values, language, verbal styles and nonverbal gestures, as well as in religious and economic systems.

___ 3. The ability to fit in and execute appropriate and effective interactions in a new cultural environment that can include quality or quantity of relations with host nationals and length of residence in the host country.


___ 4. Feelings of well-being and satisfaction during cross-cultural transitions.

___ 5. The short-term and medium-term adaptive process of sojourners in their overseas assignments.

POP-UP ANSWER:

1. d


2. b

3. e


4. a

5. c



Match the following five terms with their respective definitions:
a. Sojourner

b. Instrumental goals

c. U-curve adjustment model

d. Revised W-shaped adjustment model

e. Socioemotional goals
___ 1. Takes into account the reentry and resocialization stages.

___ 2. A temporary resident who voluntarily goes abroad for a set period of time that is usually related to some instrumental purpose.

___ 3. 3 stages: initial adjustment, crisis, and regained adjustment.

___ 4. Goals such as fulfilling a business assignment or getting study abroad credits in college.

___ 5. Relational, recreational, and personal development goals.


POP-UP ANSWER:

1. d


2. a

3. c


4. b

5. e


Match the following terms with the corresponding descriptions of the seven stages of the revised W-shaped adjustment model:
a. Honeymoon e. Ambivalence

b. Hostility f. Reentry culture shock

c. Humorous g. Resocialization

d. In-sync adjustment

In this stage, sojourners:

___ 1. face an unexpected jolt, due to its unanticipated nature. Its impact is usually much more severe, and they usually feel more depressed and stressed than during entry culture shock.

___ 2. experience major emotional upheavals and major loss of self-esteem and self-confidence.

___ 3. experience grief, nostalgia, pride, relief, and sorrow that they are going home.

___ 4. may quietly assimilate themselves back to their old roles and behaviors, while others never fit back into their home cultures, and others act as agents of change in their home cultures.

___ 5. start to realize that there are pros and cons in each culture, and they learn to laugh at their cultural faux pas.

___ 6. are excited about their new cultural environment, where everything appears fresh and exhilarating.


___ 7. feel “at home” and experience identity security and inclusion, and can now “make sense” of the “bizarre” local customs and behaviors.



POP-UP ANSWER:

1. f


2. b

3. e


4. g

5. c


6. a

7. d
CHAPTER 5 REVIEW QUIZ


Multiple Choice: Select and click the BEST ANSWER from the choices available.

1. Ephraim was excited at first about his study abroad trip to the United States. After he arrived, he was surprised to find out that he had periods of loneliness and disorientation. What Ephraim should know is that he is in the process of ____________.

a. enculturation

b. resocialization

c. reentry culture shock

d. culture shock

POP-UP ANSWER:

d. culture shock (p. 93)

2. According to the revised W-Shaped Adjustment Model, in which stage might sojourners become very aggressive in the new culture, or totally withdraw from it?

a. Humorous

b. Reentry culture shock

c. Hostility

d. Ambivalence

POP-UP ANSWER:

c. Hostility (p. 102)

3. After a few months, Ephraim’s feelings began stabilizing and he now feels relatively comfortable and satisfied as he continues his study-abroad experience. Ephraim is experiencing good ____________ adjustment.

a. assimilation

b. sociocultural

c. cultural distance

d. psychological
POP-UP ANSWER:

d. psychological (p. 96)


4. In the ABCs of culture shock, “A” stands for the _________ dimension of disorientation, which includes feelings of anxiety, bewilderment, and confusion.

a. affective

b. adaptation

c. acculturation

d. alienation


POP-UP ANSWER:

a. affective (pp. 94-95)

5. Elaine travels from the United States to study abroad in Canada. She notices that her culture-shock experience does not involve very intense experiences with negative feelings. This is due to the fact that there is not a great difference in ____________ factors such as language, cultural values, verbal styles, and nonverbal gestures between the two countries.

a. culture shock

b. cultural distance

c. adaptation

d. enculturation
POP-UP ANSWER:

b. cultural distance (p. 96)

6. Which of the following is an example of a socioemotional goal for a sojourner in a foreign country?

a. Establishing a friendship with a member of the foreign country

b. Hiring individuals from the foreign country for the overseas office

c. Incorporating a new business model at the overseas office

d. Attending courses for university credit at the foreign country’s national university

POP-UP ANSWER:

a. Establishing a friendship with a member of the foreign country (p. 99)

7. Ellie decided to do some research on orangutans. She spent six months abroad, consulting with scientists at the Nairobi Zoo in Kenya. Because she knew her intercultural communication terms, when asked by Kenyans who she was, she replied, “My name is Ellie and I am a(n) ____________.”

a. tourist

b. visitor

c. immigrant

d. sojourner

POP-UP ANSWER:

d. sojourner (p. 99)

8. ______________ adjustment refers to the ability to fit in and execute appropriate and effective interactions in a new cultural environment.

a. Assimilation

b. Sociocultural

c. Psychological

d. Voluntary
POP-UP ANSWER:

b. Sociocultural (p. 96)

9. As a sojourner, Ernest has begun making new frends and has spent enough time in the new culture to realize that there are pros and cons in each culture. He is experiencing which stage of the revised W-shaped adjustment model?

a. Honeymoon

b. Hostility

c. Ambivalence

d. Humorous
POP-UP ANSWER:

d. Humorous (p. 104)

10. Els is a study abroad student from the United States studying in China. When she encounters an awkward or confusing situation with a Chinese individual, she tries to imaginatively place herself in the other’s shoes, considering what the other individual is experiencing, both intellectually and emotionally. Else is practicing which aspect of communication competence?

a. In-sync adjustment

b. Behavioral flexibility

c. Cross-cultural empathy

d. Bicultural identity

POP-UP ANSWER:

c. Cross-cultural empathy (p. 98)


True/False: In order to identify the best answer, consider whether each statement is true (i.e., accurate) or false (i.e., inaccurate). Click either “a” for “True” or “b” for “False.”

1. Sojourners who have realistic expectations tend to have a more negative culture shock experience.

a. True

b. False
POP-UP ANSWER:


b. False (p. 95)

2. Elmira has spend the first two weeks of her study-abroad experience really enjoying herself, so she will not experience culture shock.

a. True

b. False

POP-UP ANSWER:



b. False (p. 93)

3. Sometimes there are returnees who never quite fit back into their home culture. These are called “alienators” and they often seek out more sojourner experiences.

a. True

b. False
POP-UP ANSWER:



a. True (p. 105)
4. Individuals going through reentry culture shock may feel more severe emotions than when they experienced the hostility stage of the revised W-Shaped Adjustment Model.

a. True


b. False
POP-UP ANSWER:

a. True (p. 107)

5. The revised W-Shaped Adjustment Model describes the long-term adaptation process of immigrants and refugees.

a. True


b. False
POP-UP ANSWER:

b. False (p. 101)



CHAPTER 5 INTERCULTURAL WEB SURFING

Check out the following Internet sites and other resources that are relevant to this chapter:
Who visits the United States? What are the most popular destinations? Check out the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries:

http://www.tinet.ita.doc.gov/

For study abroad and international student information:



http://www.iie.org/en/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors
Check out sojourners’ blogs. The following is an excerpt from a real-life sojourner’s blog, a novice yoga teacher from the United States living and teaching in India:

I'm dwindling away ... it's India. same story as last year. This country either sucks you dry or makes you feel ALIVE like never before. Getting sick is a prerequisite. Sometimes that's just the way the cookie crumbles... if you're healthy enough to digest cookies ...

Somehow the good Lord magically allows for me the energy to teach yoga. Yesterday the class flowed so beautifully ... tonight I give a lecture on “asteya” or non-theft ...

India is a different story when you are LIVING here. Suddenly all of those defects that were once charming can really irritate you ... the power goes out at least twice a day.. you're never quite sure what is making you sick of the many possibilities ... shoulders must always be covered irrespective of any oppressive heat waves ... seeing monkeys tree-hopping out my window and cows eating trash in the streets has lost its novelty ... but it's still pretty cool ;)

Source: www.blondevagabond.com

Films:
Avatar (USA, 2009). This sci-fi film captures the essence of adaptation, culture shock, and how cultures clash.
Mao’s Last Dancer (2009). A drama based on the autobiography by Li Cunxin. At the age of eleven, Li was plucked from a poor Chinese village and taken to Beijing to study ballet. In 1979, during a cultural exchange to Texas, he fell in love with an American woman. Two years later, he managed to defect and went on to perform as a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet and as a principal artist with the Australian Ballet.
Lost in Translation (2003). This film depicts a few days in the lives of two European Americans who are both on short visits to Japan, but for different reasons. Using my.blog 5.1, can you identify the kinds of social support each receives from the other during their encounters? Can you identify differences in the European Americans’ orientation toward individualism and the Japanese individuals’ orientation toward collectivism?

CHAPTER 5 INTERCULTURAL TOUR

Check out the following intercultural scenario:

(NOTE: See “Chapter 5 Class Handouts” for a printable version.)



A FIRST-PERSON NARRATIVE: WALKING TO SCHOOL

DESI’s First-Person Narrative:

It occurred to me about how the W-Shaped Model can be applied to situations outside of ethnic and cultural boundaries. My example is a car accident that left my brother in a coma for two weeks. When he came to, the doctor discovered that Ryan was paralyzed from the waist down. When I heard the news I was filled with tears, fear, and shock. I could not believe my outgoing brother would never walk again or have children. I had a hard time looking at him in the hospital without crying or feeling angry. Why him? What if he had not driven that night? What if it was me who was driving?

My family and I learned to use humor to get through the most difficult three months Ryan was in the hospital. We sat in the Intensive Care Unit and joked with all our visitors, and I even joked with Ryan a lot about things that could only be funny to the two of us. I tried to cheer him up, and cheer myself up in return. To get through it, I took everything in like a sponge, absorbing any knowledge of Ryan’s injury and the situation. I researched paralysis and became an “expert” on the subject. My parents looked to me for information and advice. It was really a more positive way for me to handle my beloved brother’s devastating situation.
Through the months that I spent visiting the hospital, it became a second home for me. It was not only a place to visit Ryan, but also where I visited family and friends, a study hall, and a place to eat. I soon blended right in with all the staff there. I knew many people—their names, their hobbies, their quirks—including the doctors, nurses, therapists, and cafeteria staff (as well as others by face). When Ryan was transferred to a rehabilitation clinic, I went back to school and spent more time on campus.

Coming back to school was so difficult. I no longer felt like I belonged there. Everyone had continued their lives as before, while I had undergone a major life-changing event. My whole outlook on life changed. It was as if my eyes were finally opened for the first time and I took a long hard look at my life priorities. On the way to class I thought about the blessing that existed in being able to WALK there, while everyone around me was stressed out about their homework assignments, social life, and dating life ... and the matters I used to think were very important became less important. To be able to walk with my two legs matters to me now, and to have a healthy body matters to me ... to have my beloved parents and brother to talk to matters to me. Everything pales by comparison. And to think, my experience in all this was just as a sister.

INTERACTIVE PROBES (Ask yourself and probe your classmates’ reactions)

(NOTE: See “Chapter 5 Class Handouts” for a printable form containing these questions.)


1. What are your feelings and reactions to this story?
2. To what extent can you relate to Desi’s story and experience? Do you have a similar story to share?
3. Do you find the W-Shaped Adjustment Model useful in interpreting and understanding the story? How so?
4. Thinking of your own life transition or transformation stories and the stories of others, if you could make some changes to the W-Shaped Adjustment Model, what would you recommend?

FURTHER APPLICATION PROBES
Let’s apply some concepts from Chapter 5 to this scenario:
1. When Desi first learned of her brother’s accident, she describes her feelings as “tears, fear, and shock.” According to the ABC’s of culture shock, she is describing the ____________ dimension of disorientation, which includes feelings of anxiety, bewilderment, and confusion.

a. affective

b. adaptation

c. acculturation

d. alienation
POP-UP ANSWER:

a. affective (pp. 94-95)

2. Desi eventually becomes quite comfortable in the hospital environment, becoming familiar with many hospital employees, and using the hospital as a place to eat, study, and visit others. This describes the aspect of ______________ adjustment, which refers to the ability to fit in and execute appropriate and effective interactions in a new cultural environment.

a. assimilation

b. sociocultural

c. psychological

d. voluntary

POP-UP ANSWER:

b. sociocultural (p. 96)

3. In the third paragraph, Desi felt like she blended in with all the staff at the hospital and was comfortable at the hospital. In what stage of the W-Shaped Adjustment Model was she operating?

a. Humorous

b. In-sync adjustment

c. Honeymoon

d. Ambivalence

POP-UP ANSWER:

b. In-sync adjustment (p. 104)


4. Desi’s U.S. school experience and her U.S. hospital experience indicate that one can still experience culture shock even though _______________ factors, such as language and values, are very small.

a. affective

b. enculturation

c. cultural distance

d. cultural display rules
POP-UP ANSWER:

c. cultural distance (p. 96)

5. When Desi first returned to school after her brother’s accident, what stage of the W-Shaped Adjustment Model was she in?

a. Hostility

b. In-sync adjustment

c. Reentry culture shock

d. Resocialiation

POP-UP ANSWER:

c. Reentry culture shock (p. 104)


6. In the final paragraph, Desi describes her feelings and thoughts upon returning to school. According to the description of three types of returnees in Chapter 5, what type of returnee does Desi seem to be?

a. Alienator

b. Resocializer

c. Transformer


POP-UP ANSWER:

a. Alienator (After such a traumatic experience, it will take some time for Desi to apply her new insights to either resocialize herself back to the school culture or to become a transformer—she will get there with the help of her own family and supportive friends (p. 105)



CHAPTER 5 CLASS HANDOUTS
Note: Your instructor may ask you to download, print out, and/or e-mail the following class handouts for this chapter:
A FIRST-PERSON NARRATIVE: WALKING TO SCHOOL

INTERACTIVE PROBES FOR “WALKING TO SCHOOL”

A FIRST-PERSON NARRATIVE: WALKING TO SCHOOL

DESI’s First-Person Narrative:

It occurred to me about how the W-Shaped Model can be applied to situations outside of ethnic and cultural boundaries. My example is a car accident that left my brother in a coma for two weeks. When he came to, the doctor discovered that Ryan was paralyzed from the waist down. When I heard the news I was filled with tears, fear, and shock. I could not believe my outgoing brother would never walk again or have children. I had a hard time looking at him in the hospital without crying or feeling angry. Why him? What if he had not driven that night? What if it was me who was driving?

My family and I learned to use humor to get through the most difficult three months Ryan was in the hospital. We sat in the Intensive Care Unit and joked with all our visitors, and I even joked with Ryan a lot about things that could only be funny to the two of us. I tried to cheer him up, and cheer myself up in return. To get through it, I took everything in like a sponge, absorbing any knowledge of Ryan’s injury and the situation. I researched paralysis and became an “expert” on the subject. My parents looked to me for information and advice. It was really a more positive way for me to handle my beloved brother’s devastating situation.
Through the months that I spent visiting the hospital, it became a second home for me. It was not only a place to visit Ryan, but also where I visited family and friends, a study hall, and a place to eat. I soon blended right in with all the staff there. I knew many people—their names, their hobbies, their quirks—including the doctors, nurses, therapists, and cafeteria staff (as well as others by face). When Ryan was transferred to a rehabilitation clinic, I went back to school and spent more time on campus.

Coming back to school was so difficult. I no longer felt like I belonged there. Everyone had continued their lives as before, while I had undergone a major life-changing event. My whole outlook on life changed. It was as if my eyes were finally opened for the first time and I took a long hard look at my life priorities. On the way to class I thought about the blessing that existed in being able to WALK there, while everyone around me was stressed out about their homework assignments, social life, and dating life ... and the matters I used to think were very important became less important. To be able to walk with my two legs matters to me now, and to have a healthy body matters to me ... to have my beloved parents and brother to talk to matters to me. Everything pales by comparison. And to think, my experience in all this was just as a sister.

NAME:______________________________

INTERACTIVE PROBES FOR “WALKING TO SCHOOL”

(Ask yourself and probe your classmates’ reactions)
1. What are your feelings and reactions to this story?

2. To what extent can you relate to Desi’s story and experience? Do you have a similar story to share?

3. Do you find the W-Shaped Adjustment Model useful in interpreting and understanding the story? How so?

4. Thinking of your own life transition or transformation stories and the stories of others, if you could make some changes to the W-Shaped Adjustment Model, what would you recommend?





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