Impact of Culture Shock

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It is no secret that the world is rapidly growing across cultural boundaries. For many years, countries have shared technological advancements in trade and communication and have examined commonalities among modern cultures, perhaps to share ways of being more efficient and possibly to unify world cultures. Whatever the case, the corporate world has also followed suit and has rapidly sped up the process, for perhaps something other than monetary benefit, but one could only speculate the purpose behind globalization. However, the question that is commonly debated globally is whether the globalization process does more harm than good to local cultures around the world. This debate also signifies that people are genuinely concerned about their own cultural identities. What do we stand to learn from this diversification process? A small percentage of people in general have experienced different cultures besides that of their own through personal or business travel. Once outside of their own culture, the vast majority of these travelers began to realize that there is a common uncertainty among them, as foreigners. This uncertainty can sometimes affect their emotional, behavioral and psychological ability to think and function. That is why it is important that we study, understand and identify “culture shock” because we may at some point in our personal or professional travel come into contact with different cultures, within their environments. This research paper will attempt to define and explore the term culture shock, identify different stages in the process, share first-hand experiences and provide some personal remedies for dealing with culture shock as it relates to International travel. The term culture shock was first introduced by Kalvero Oberg (1960) to describe the anxiety resulting from not knowing what to do in a new culture. In a multi-cultural context, the term “culture shock” is a sudden engagement into a nonspecific state of uncertainty where the...
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