Taking a Look at Culture Shock

Good Essays
Culture shock can be described as a psychological disorientation caused by a misunderstanding or disagreement arising from cultural differences. Though there has been numerous discussions on the most contemporary definitions of culture shock, it is commonly agreed that it is a normal reaction when an individuals with core values, beliefs, customs and behaviours experience when encountered with new environment and, more importantly, new culture. The term ‘shock’ is, though its degree varies with people and may not be recognised at all, normally used to describe discomfort, stress, anxiety and even confusion and disorientation individuals may experience while undergoing cultural adaptation. A number of factors can arouse culture shock, including a loss of familiar signs and symbols such as words, facial expressions and customs. Another important factor is cultural incompetence resulting from insufficient exposure to different culture. In that sense, while culture shock is the term mostly implied to visitors or immigrants who arrived to another country, and hence another culture, this indicates that a local community can be culturally shocked to another local community as well. For example, cultural differences between Aboriginal people in Australia and the country’s dominant social population could invoke culture shock between one another.

“Crossing the line” features a number of examples of culture shock. This one-hour long documentary highlights this by exploring eight
Get Access