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Culture Shock : The Theory Of Sverre Oberg's Impact On Other Cultures

Decent Essays
Culture shock is a phenomenon that is defined as “anxiety that results from losing all our

familiar signs and symbols of social intercourse” since behavior, customs, norms and standards

are not universal across all cultures (Oberg, p. 177). Globalization, social media and

technological progress are influences that have shaped the concept of culture shock as we

understand it today, and connect countries and its citizens with each other in ways that would

have been unimaginable a half century ago. Through wars, trade, immigration and

industrialization many borders have faded and nowadays it is even possible to encounter micro

cultures within one’s own community that appear to represent enough criteria to induce a culture

shock without having to particularly travel abroad. The research process revealed that the theory

had been studied by numerous scientists over the past 60 plus years, who added on and devised

the hypothesis that continues to be very much present, since it is evident that Oberg’s original

work was in need of adjustments, while the fundamentals can still be applied to and observed

in the experiences individuals have while exposed to other cultures in this day and age.

Although Oberg was not the first to use the term culture shock and additionally further

developed an already existing ideation from the sociologist Sverre Lysgaard into his principle,

Oberg introduced an expanded version of the Four Stage Model in 1960 which
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