Culture Schock

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By: Kathy G.

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 ·...
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