Analysis of the cultural adaptation process using the U curve theory
Culture shock is a multidimensional experience that results from stressors that occur as a result of exposure to a different culture. It occurs among immigrants such as students, refugees, and businessmen on overseas assignments among others. Reactions from cultural shock can provoke social dysfunction, psychological stress as well as feelings of depression, anxiety, and helplessness. Under these conditions, some people end up experiencing mental health issues as a result of a lack of social support, and the impact of differences in values and expectations that sometimes end up being unrealistic. This paper is going to analyze the cultural adaptation process using the U curve theory by analyzing the experience of my interviewee. The essay is based on an interview between the author and a female student who just moved from Mumbai India to undertake undergraduate studies at a university in London. For this task, an Indian student was chosen because of the distinct cultural differences between the Indian and British cultures
Critically analyze the cultural adaptation process using the U CURVE THEORY Case Study
Key Learning Outcomes
- Understand and critically analyze the cultural adaptation process using the U curve theory
- Understand cultural shock, what it is, and what causes it
- Understand the different stages of culture shock and how to overcome it
As a result of globalization, there is growing diversity across Universities as more students attend their higher studies from foreign countries, hoping to get a better education and learn about other people and their cultures. However, these students normally have to contend with new social behaviors, and expectations as well as adjust to new cultures. This is always followed by a crisis that tends to be worse for newcomers who are unaware of the new culture and assume it operates in the same way as their home country. As noted by Zhou et al (2008), the collective impact of the differences in culture, and experiences result in adaptation issues commonly termed ‘culture shock’. However, Kocak (2014) posited that culture shock is not only a result of cultural differences, it is also a result of individual psychology which is by default predetermined by our own culture to unconsciously view and judge the outside world through the lenses of our own culture. According to Oberg (1960), the degree of psychological comfort in a new country can be divided into four phases; honeymoon, crisis (sometimes called also shock), recovery, and adjustment. The degree of adjustment can be assessed based on these phases, it should however be noted that the degree of shock varies from one person to another (Saylag 2013). This paper is going to analyze the cultural adaptation process using the U curve theory by analyzing the experience of my interviewee.
The essay is based on an interview between me and a female student who just moved from Mumbai India to undertake undergraduate studies at a university in London. For this task, I chose an Indian student simply because of the distinct cultural differences between the Indian and British cultures. The interview took place at the University and lasted for at least five minutes, I recorded it using my phone. I will use the U Curve model to analyze the different levels of cultural adaptations based on the experience of my interviewee.
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