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Culture shock.

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  • March 20, 2004
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Culture in simplicity is a body of learned behavior, a collection of beliefs, habits and traditions, shared by a group of people and successively learned by people who enter the society. Furthermore, culture is learned, not inherited. If this is correct, then it can be assumed that it is not impossible to learn new cultural traits and to unlearn old ones. Therefore, it must be feasible to integrate cultural differences. Cultural adaptation would involve many essentials as, language; verbal and non-verbal, economics, religion, politics, social institutions, values, attitudes, manners, customs, material items, aesthetics and education.

Culture shock is primarily a set of emotional reactions to the loss of perceptual reinforcements from one's own culture to new cultural stimuli, which have little or no meaning. In layman's terms, culture shock is the anxiety resulting from losing one's sense of when to do what and how. There are many different ways to experience culture shock. It can be experienced across the world or as near as one's backyard. Some aspects of culture shock include strain caused by the effort to adapt, sense of loss and feeling of deprivation, status, profession, possessions, feelings of rejection and rejecting members of the new culture, confusion in role, values, self-identity crisis, anxiety, disgust, anger on foreign practices and feelings of helplessness of not being capable of adapting to the new environment. Culture shock is a widely experienced phenomenon when people enter a different country. Many Americans would venture that they consider themselves very culturally accepting. Often, when these same Americans travel abroad, they experience culture shock. It is not always a negative thing. Often it is just the shock of being in a place that is completely different in every way from anything one has ever known.

The first Push factor is that operating in an unfamiliar environment is stressful and "hard work." Secondly, it leads to...