What is culture shock? 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. (Adler, 1975) In layman's terms, culture shock is the anxiety resulting from losing one's sense of when to do what and how. (Pederson, 1988) There are many different ways to experience culture shock. It can be experienced across the world or as near as one's backyard. 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. Culture shock is a widely experienced phenomenon when people enter a different country.
Stephen Bochner in his chapter entitled "Culture Shock," describes an interesting way of looking at Culture Shock.
He describes the Push and Pull factors. The four Push factors being "the stressful aspects of the new environment." The two Pull factors are what the "sojourner left behind back home." The first Push factor is that operating in an unfamiliar environment is stressful and "hard work." Secondly, it leads to feelings of helplessness as well as self-doubt. The role of an individual may be confused due to the new environment. Lastly, the more one learns about a different culture, the more apparent differences become. The different practices could disgust a person, and the person would feel "guilty" because they "failed to respect local customs." The two Pull factors are loss of status and the ever-common homesickness. Bochner totally focuses on attitudes and feelings of the individual while another theorist, Adler (1975), feels that it...