What Does Culture Shock Mean


Definition of CULTURE SHOCK

When foreign students arrive in the United States for the first time, they frequently experience culture shock. When he first moved to the city, he had a severe cultural shock. Recent Web-based illustrations While attempting to maintain their frenetic pace, Mr. Gicinto, Mr. Nocon, and Mr. Russo were also adjusting to the culture shock of being snatched from their previous jobs in the government and thrust into the fast-paced environment of a rising technology business. —New York Times, November 28, 2021 During the first season of Emily in Paris, viewers were introduced to the main heroine’s new job as a marketing professional in Paris as well as the luxurious culture shock of relocating from Chicago to the fashion center of the world.

—Francesca Street, CNN, November 26, 2021 As a result, it’s a bit of a culture shock when Far Cry 6 dumps you right into the middle of a busy downtown right from the start.

—Owen Gleiberman, in Variety, November 6, 2021.

the Washington Post, 28 October 2021The first season of Emily in Paris tracked the title heroine’s transition from Chicago to Paris and the glamorous cultural shock of relocating from the Windy City to the City of Lights.

Cogdill, sun-sentinel.com, October 6, 2021 Examples of the word “cultural shock” were compiled automatically from various internet news sources to represent current usage of the phrase “culture shock.” It is not the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors that the viewpoints stated in the examples are correct.

Reading Into Culture Shock

A sensation of uncertainty, perplexity, or worry that people may have after migrating to a new nation or encountering a new culture or surroundings is referred to as culture shock. Because you are in a foreign environment, it is typical for you to experience some cultural acclimatization. When people relocate to a new city or country, such as when they retire overseas, they may experience culture shock. In addition, culture shock can occur when people travel for leisure or business, or when they study abroad for a semester or year.

However, while everyone’s adjustment process is unique, there are some phases that most people go through before they feel comfortable in their new surroundings.

Culture shock may be quite unpleasant and might result in feelings of anxiety. It is, nevertheless, possible to overcome it and grow as a consequence of the experience.

Key Takeaways

  • A sensation of uncertainty, perplexity, or worry that people may have while migrating to a new nation or environment is referred to as culture shock. People might experience culture shock when they relocate to a new city or country, go on vacation, travel abroad, or study abroad for a period of time. In the context of being in a strange place, it is common to experience cultural acclimatization. Most people categorize cultureshock into four stages: the honeymoon time
  • The frustration stage
  • The adaption stage
  • And, finally, the acceptance stage. It is possible for people to grow comfortable with their new surroundings over time as they meet new people and learn the local customs, which can lead to a greater respect for the culture.

Understanding Culture Shock

When someone moves away from the comfort of their home and familiar surroundings and into an unknown area, they are said to be experiencing culture shock. Especially if the two areas are drastically different, such as relocating from a small rural region to a huge metropolitan area or from one nation to another, the adjustment phase can be rather stressful. When relocating from one part of a country to another within the same country, people may experience culture shock as well. The majority of the time, no single incident causes culture shock, nor does it happen suddenly or without cause.

The sensation is very powerful in the beginning, and it might be difficult to get past the initial shock.

As a consequence, navigating one’s environment becomes simpler, new acquaintances are created, and one’s overall comfort level increases significantly.

The 4 Stages of Culture Shock

People who are experiencing culture shock may go through four stages, which are described in further detail below.

The Honeymoon Stage

As a rule, the honeymoon stage is considered to be the initial stage of the relationship. This is due to the fact that individuals feel overjoyed to be in their new surroundings. They frequently regard it as an adventure. If someone is just staying for a short period of time, this initial enthusiasm may serve as the foundation for the whole encounter. However, the honeymoon period for individuals embarking on a longer-term relocation inevitably comes to an end, despite the expectation that it will remain indefinitely.

The Frustration Stage

It is possible that people will grow increasingly irritable and disoriented when the excitement of being in a new setting wears off. Fatigue may gradually set in as a result of misinterpretations of other people’s behaviors, talks, and methods of accomplishing their goals. Individuals may feel overwhelmed by a new culture at this point, particularly if there is an issue with linguistic communication. Local habits can also become increasingly difficult to maintain, and things that were formerly simple can take longer to do, resulting in weariness.

  • Fatigue
  • Frustration
  • Irritability
  • Homesickness
  • Depression
  • A sense of being lost and out of place

The inability to communicate effectively—both in terms of comprehending what others are saying and in terms of making oneself understood—is probably the most frustrating aspect of life. This stage of cultural adjustment might be the most challenging for some people, as they may feel the need to retreat from their new environment. For example, overseas students adjusting to life in the United States while participating in study abroad programs may experience feelings of anger and anxiety, which can lead to disengagement from new relationships.

During this time, some people develop food and sleeping issues and may consider returning home earlier than planned.

The Adaptation Stage

Individuals gradually become more at ease in their new circumstances as they progress through the adaption stage. As people become used to their new surroundings, the dissatisfaction that they were experiencing begins to fade. People will get more familiar with specific cultural cues, even if they do not fully comprehend them at first—at the very least to the point where deciphering them becomes much simpler.

The Acceptance Stage

People are more able to experience and enjoy their new house during the acceptance or healing stage. As a result, their views and attitudes toward their new surroundings tend to improve, resulting in improved self-confidence and the reemergence of their sense of humor. It is common for people to have overcome the hurdles and misconceptions that they encountered during the frustration stage, allowing them to become more comfortable and happy. At this point, the majority of individuals are experiencing growth and may begin to modify their old habits and embrace the manners of their new culture.

However, it is possible that the knowledge will dawn that total comprehension is not required in order to survive and prosper in the new environment.

Alternative causes include experiencing new ways of doing things, becoming disconnected from behavioral cues, having your own beliefs questioned, and feeling as if you don’t understand the rules.

How to Overcome Culture Shock

Individuals may reduce the impact of culture shock and speed up the healing process, but time and habit are also helpful in dealing with culture shock.

  • To comprehend the causes for cultural differences, keep an open mind and study about the new nation or culture you’re visiting. Don’t get caught up in nostalgic memories of home, continuously contrasting it with your new surroundings
  • Fill up a notebook with details on your experience, highlighting the good parts of the new culture
  • Don’t isolate yourself
  • Be active and mingle with the people around you. Be open and honest about your feelings of disorientation and confusion, but do it in a responsible manner. Inquire for guidance and assistance
  • Discuss and share your cultural heritage with others—communication is a two-way street.

What is the definition of culture shock?

When someone is separated from their usual surroundings and culture as a result of relocating or going to a new place, they experience culture shock or adjustment. It is common for culture shock to result in a rush of feelings such as exhilaration, fear, perplexity, and uncertainty.

Is culture shock good or bad?

In the case of a move or trip to a new place, culture shock or adjustment happens when someone is cut off from their usual surroundings and culture. It is common for culture shock to result in a whirlwind of feelings such as exhilaration, anxiety, perplexity, and unease.

What is an example of culture shock?

For example, overseas students who come to the United States for a semester of study abroad may experience culture shock when they first arrive. Language hurdles and new norms can make it difficult for pupils to acclimatize, resulting in feelings of anger and anxiety in certain cases. Because of this, students may retreat from social activities and face minor health concerns such as difficulty falling or staying asleep. Through the process of making new friends and learning social signs, children feel more comfortable in their new surroundings over time.

What are the types of culture shock?

There are four stages of culture shock that are well recognized: the honeymoon stage, the frustration stage, the adaption stage, and the acceptance stage. Feelings of enthusiasm, anger, homesickness, adjustment, and acceptance are common throughout this time period.

It is important to note that some persons may not go through all four phases and may not even reach the acceptance phase. These individuals may have challenges in adjusting, which may result in lifelong introversion or other sorts of social and behavioral responses.

Definition of culture shock

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This indicates the grade level of the word based on its difficulty. This indicates the grade level of the word based on its difficulty. Immersion a feeling of perplexity and anguish experienced by a someone who is abruptly thrust into a completely unfamiliar, odd, or alien social and cultural context EVALUATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF AFFECT AND EFFECT VERSUS AFFECT! In effect, this exam will determine whether or not you possess the necessary abilities to distinguish between the terms “affect” and “effect.” Despite the wet weather, I was in high spirits on the day of my graduation celebrations.

Origin ofculture shock

The first recordings were made between 1955 and 1960.

OTHER WORDS FROM culture shock

1955–1960 was the first time it was recorded

Words nearbyculture shock

Culture-free test, culture hero, culture jamming, culture medium, culture pattern, culture shock, culture specific syndrome, culture trait, culture vulture, and culture war are all terms that have been used to describe people or things that are not culturally acceptable. Culture-free test, culture hero, culture jamming, culture medium, culture pattern, culture shock, culture specific syndrome, culture trait, culture vulture, and culture war are all terms that have been used to describe people or things that are not culturally acceptable culturistDictionary.com Unabridged Random House, Inc.

Words related toculture shock

  • The day her family purchased Penny from a pet store in 2005, even though she was only in second grade, “would be a cultural shock for her,” says Aikey, who has strong recollections of the day her family acquired Penny from a pet store, even though she was only in second grade
  • The journals, which began as a blur of culture shock coupled with her developing disillusionment, detail her fixation with her elusive, rakish colleague as well as her increasingly unpredictable state of mind. Charlie made fun of my religion and culture, and I died defending his right to do so
  • I have no idea why or who is responsible for this, but that is the legacy. and it is a heritage that is extremely significant to the culture
  • A large portion of the culture around films in the science fiction/fantasy genre is devoted to analyzing them over and over again
  • It remains to be seen whether he receives the recognition he deserves in popular culture. A establishment that may represent the much-discussed college “hook-up culture” would be Shooters
  • It is the epitome of what the term “hook-up culture” means. Since 1580, Cubans have practiced this art, with huge quantities of it being sent to Europe from the country and neighboring Caribbean islands. It is a very different thing to have a culture of expression than it is to have a skillful copy of the signals of passion and intent
  • While growing up, a youngster who is exposed to humanizing influences from culture quickly rises above the primitive phase of development. In contrast to this, Charles II disapproved of the country’s cultural traditions
  • It would be a safe bet to say that the Accadian civilisation represented a period of expansion of at least ten thousand years.
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British Dictionary definitions forculture shock

When one culture is thrust into direct touch with another, such as when a primitive tribe is faced with contemporary society, the sentiments of isolation, rejection, and so on are experienced. 2012 Digital Edition of the Collins English Dictionary – Complete Unabridged Edition (William Collins SonsCo. Ltd. 1979, 1986) In 1998, HarperCollinsPublishers published the following books: 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2012.

Medical definitions forculture shock

When a person is exposed to a new culture or environment for the first time, they may experience feelings of disorientation and anxiety. The Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, published by American Heritage® Houghton Mifflin Company owns the copyright for the years 2002, 2001, and 1995. Houghton Mifflin Company is the publisher of this book.

Other Idioms and Phrases withculture shock

When someone is confronted with an unfamiliar setting, they may feel a condition of uncertainty and uneasiness. For example, it’s not just jet lag that may be debilitating; it’s also the cultural shock of arriving in a foreign place. As an example, when someone moves from the country to a major metropolis, this word was originally used by social scientists to describe the experience of the individual adjusting to the new environment. As seen in the example, it is currently used more loosely. Definitions from the American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company is the publisher of this book.

What Is Culture Shock

Culture shock is defined as the psychological consequence of transitioning from one culture to another that is unfamiliar. This comprises the emotions and sensations (such as surprise, disorientation, uncertainty, and bewilderment) that a person has when he or she must adjust to a new and unfamiliar cultural or social setting. It may involve the shock of being in a new environment, meeting new people, eating new cuisine, or learning a foreign language, as well as the shock of being removed from the essential people in your life, such as family, friends, coworkers, and teachers, amongst other factors.

Culture shock usually manifests itself in four stages. The stages are as follows:

Step 1: The Honeymoon Stage

Everything is novel and intriguing at this point. You may be overcome with joy and astonishment at the vast array of distinctions you observe and experience. You are energized and aroused, and you yet feel connected to all that is familiar to you at home. During this stage, you tend to concentrate on the parallels between your own country and your host country, while also acknowledging and appreciating the distinctions between the two.

Step 2: The Distress Stage

Once the honeymoon period has passed, you may find yourself becoming increasingly bored or annoyed with your new nation, particularly with its habits and ideals. You’re no longer surprised by the things you’re encountering; in fact, it’s beginning to seem as though the strangeness of a new culture is keeping you from fully immersing yourself in it. You may be resentful of the way things are done in this place, and you may believe that things should be done differently. As a result, you may begin to romanticize life “back home,” and you may begin to believe that your present culture, language, and cuisine are substandard in comparison to what you’re accustomed to.

Don’t be concerned; this is very normal.

Step 3 – The Orientation Stage

The Orientation Stage is the initial stage of acceptance. When you reach this level, you will begin to see why some things are done in a particular way. You come to appreciate the culture and customs, whether you think them to be good or terrible. You’re starting to feel more at ease in your new surroundings, and your view is starting to become more optimistic. More confident and more equipped to deal with any challenges that may develop as a result of this experience. Keep in mind that culture shock is not a totally linear process; you may find yourself returning to the Distress Stage numerous times until you reach the Adjustment Stage.

Step 4 – The Adaptation Stage

When you reach this level, your mentality has shifted, and you are able to work well in both cultures. As a result of your acceptance of new culture, you are able to perceive it in a fresh, yet realistic perspective. You are normally well-acquainted with your new life at this point, and you have established your own habits and daily routines. You have a sense of security, self-assurance, and ability to make judgments. You no longer feel alone and isolated; instead, you begin to feel at ease and at ease with yourself.

Culture shock – Wikipedia

The Aztecs were taken aback by the encounter with the conquerors armed with steel and horses, and they mistook them for eastern prophets as a result of their astonishment. If you move to a different culture, you may experience culture shock. It is also the feeling of being disoriented that a person may have when experiencing a new way of life due to immigration or a visit to another country, or when transitioning between social environments, or when simply transitioning to another type of life is the experience of culture shock.

Culture shock may be divided into four separate phases, each of which includes at least one of the following: honeymoon, negotiation, adjustment, and adaption.

There is no foolproof way to completely avoid culture shock since individuals in every community are impacted by cultural differences in their own unique ways, and there is no way to completely avoid it.

Oberg’s four phases model

Acculturation model predicts that people would first experience (1) honeymoon phase, followed by (2) transition period, often known as culture shock. A rejection of the new culture, as well as a romanticization of one’s own culture, may characterize this stage of life. But, given enough time and maybe with the assistance of locals or other cultural brokers, individuals will begin to (3) adapt (the dotted line depicted some people hated by new cultures instead). And (4) refers to those persons who have returned to their home countries and have re-adjusted to their native cultures.


Because of the romantic nature of this time period, the disparities between old and modern culture are regarded in a romantic light. One could fall in love with new foods, the speed of life, and the customs of a foreign nation after relocating there for a year or two. During the first few weeks, the majority of individuals are enthralled by the unfamiliar culture. They associate with natives who speak their language and who are kind to outsiders, as opposed to those who do not. This stage, like the majority of honeymoon periods, comes to an end eventually.


After a period of time (typically three months or more, depending on the individual), the disparities between the old and new cultures become obvious, which may cause worry for the individual. As one continues to witness undesirable situations that may be viewed as weird and insulting to one’s cultural mindset, one’s excitement may finally give way to unpleasant sentiments of irritation and wrath. Obstacles like as language barriers, severe disparities in public cleanliness, traffic safety, and the accessibility and quality of food can all contribute to a sense of alienation from one’s immediate environment.

The greatest significant development, however, has been in the area of communication: People who are transitioning to a new culture frequently experience feelings of loneliness and homesickness since they are not yet accustomed to the new surroundings and encounter new people on a daily basis with whom they are not familiar.

If you are a student studying abroad, you may notice that you are experiencing extra symptoms of loneliness that may eventually influence your overall lifestyle.

This is especially true when cultural distances are great, as patterns of logic and speech are different and a strong emphasis is placed on rhetorical skills.


One becomes acclimated to the new culture and establishes habits after a period of time (typically 6 to 12 months). In the majority of instances, one knows what to expect, and the host nation no longer appears to be all that foreign. One begins to be concerned with the necessities of life once more, and things begin to appear more “normal.” Starting to acquire problem-solving abilities for coping with the culture and beginning to embrace the culture’s customs with a good attitude are both important steps in the learning process.


Individuals who have reached the mastery level are able to participate completely and comfortably in their host culture. Mastery does not necessarily imply complete conversion; people may retain many characteristics of their previous culture, such as accents and languages. It is referred to as thebicultural period in many circles.


Culture shock, according to Gary R. Weaver, has “three main causative explanations”: the loss of familiar cues, the breakdown of interpersonal communications, and an identity crisis, among other things. Peter S. Adler addressed the psychological factors that contributed to the situation. Tema Milstein wrote that it has the potential to be beneficial.

Reverse culture shock

It is possible to experience reverse culture shock (also known as “re-entry shock” or “own culture shock”), which occurs when a person returns to his or her own culture after becoming used to a new one. The symptoms of reverse culture shock are similar to those mentioned above. In this case, the effects of the readjustment process to the native culture have manifested themselves in the form of psychosomatic and psychological manifestations. This is frequently more startling and difficult to deal with for the individual who has been impacted than the first culture shock.

This saying is also the title of a novel by Thomas Wolfe.

When we spend a significant amount of time overseas, we tend to concentrate on the positive aspects of our history, exclude the negative aspects, and build an idealized image of the past.

We anticipate that everything will stay just as it was when we left it.


Following the adjustment phase, there are three primary outcomes:

  • Adapting to and integrating into a new culture might be difficult for certain individuals. They separate themselves from the host country’s surroundings, which they have grown to regard as hostile, retreat into a (sometimes imaginary) ” ghetto “, and believe that the only way out is to return to their own culture. This group, which is frequently referred to as “Rejectors,” accounts for around 60 percent of all expatriates. In addition, these “Rejectors” have the most difficulty re-integrating back into their home countries after returning
  • Other people integrate entirely and completely adopt all aspects of the host culture while maintaining their own identity. This is referred to as “cultural integration.” They are often expected to remain in the host nation indefinitely. This group, commonly referred to as “Adopters,” comprises around 10% of all expatriates. Some people are able to adapt to features of the host culture that they consider to be beneficial while maintaining characteristics of their own and forming their own unique mix. They have no significant difficulties in going home or migrating elsewhere in the world. This group can be considered to be cosmopolitan in nature. This category accounts for around 30% of all expats in the world.

Culture shock manifests itself in a variety of ways, with varying durations and degrees of severity. Many individuals are hampered by its existence and are oblivious to the fact that they are being inconvenienced. There is evidence to show that the psychological impact of culture shock may have physiological consequences as well as psychological consequences. For example, the psycho-social stress experienced during these conditions has been shown to be associated with the beginning of puberty at an earlier age.

Transition shock

Culture shock is a subtype of a larger concept known as transition shock, which is more global in scope. Transition shock is a sense of loss and confusion caused by a shift in one’s usual surroundings that necessitates readjusting to the new environment. Transition shock manifests itself in a variety of ways, including:

  • Intense feelings of rage and boredom
  • Compulsive overeating, drinking, and weight gain
  • A longing for home and old acquaintances
  • Excessive concern about cleanliness
  • Excessive sleep
  • Helplessness and a desire to separate from others
  • Getting “stuck” on a certain issue
  • Homelessness
  • A glazed look on the face Anger directed against host-country people
  • Impulsivity
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Physiological stress reactions Host nationalities are being stereotyped
  • The presence of suicidal or fatalistic ideas
  • Withdrawal.
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See also

  • Cultural conflict, cultural cringe, cultural intelligence, cultural schema theory, and so on. In this section, you will find terms such as Expatriate, Fresh off the Boat (Future Shock), Intercultural communication, Jetlag, Neophobia, Outsourced (film), and Outsourced (book). Program for student exchange
  • Xenophobia


  1. Macionis, John, and Linda Gerber, “Chapter 3 – Culture,” Sociology, 7th edition ed., Toronto, ON: Pearson Canada Inc., 2010. 54. Print
  2. Macionis, John, and Linda Gerber, “Chapter 3 – Culture,” Sociology, 7th edition ed., Toronto, ON: Pearson Canada Inc., 2010. The Five Stages of Culture Shock: Critical Incidents Around the World, by Paul Pedersen, is available online. Contributions in psychology, volume 25, number 25. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1995
  3. The effects of culture shock on communication are discussed by LaRay M. Barna in “How Culture Shock Affects Communication.” Communication 5.1, no date, pages 1-18. SocINDEX with Full Text is available. EBSCO.29 Sept.2009.web
  4. “Culture Shock”
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  7. s^ In Oberg, Kalervo, “Cultural shock: Adjustment to new cultural contexts,” in Practical Anthropology, vol. 7, no. 2, 1960, pp. 177–182, p. 177–182
  8. “Culture Shock and the Problem of Adjustment to New Cultural Environments,” by Kalervo Oberg, is a paper published in the journal Psychological Science. The World Wide Classroom Consortium for International Education (WWCCIE) is a non-profit organization that promotes international education across the world. Multicultural studies were conducted on September 29th, 2009
  9. Dr. Gregory Mavrides’s article, “Culture Shock and Clinical Depression,” was included in the Foreign Teachers Guide to Living and Working in China. Middle Kingdom Life, 2009. Web. 29 Sept. 2009
  10. Middle Kingdom Life, 2009. Sarah is a young woman who grew up in a little town in the United States (25 May 2016). www.thewanderlanders.com has an article titled “Adjust to New Cultures Like a Pro.” The original version of this article was published on October 4, 2017. Obtainable on March 19, 2018
  11. Understanding and coping with cross-cultural adjustment stress (G.R. Weaver, ed.). New York: Springer-Verlag. Cultural communication and conflict: Readings in intercultural relations (Ginn Press, Needham Heights, MA, 1994), pp. 169–189
  12. P.S. Adler, Culture, Communication, and Conflict: Readings in Intercultural Relations (1994), pp. 169–189. The transitory experience: A different perspective on culture shock. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, volume 15, number 4, pages 13–23
  13. T. Milstein published a paper in 2005 titled Sojourning and the apparent strengthening of one’s own self-efficacy are two aspects of transformation overseas. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, volume 29, number 2, pages 217-238. Martin Woesler, et al. A new model of intercultural communication – critically reviewing, combining, and further developing the basic models of Permutter, Yoshikawa, Hall, Geert Hofstede, Thomas, Hallpike, and the social-constructivism, Bochum/Berlin 2009, book series Comparative Cultural Sciences vol. 1
  14. A new model of intercultural communication – critically reviewing, combining, and further developing the basic models of Permutter, Yoshikawa, Hall, Geert Hofstede Laura Clarke is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (6 November 2016). “How expats deal with the loss of their sense of self.” BBC Capital (British Broadcasting Corporation), retrieved on 5 December 2017
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culture shock

And embarking on that trip was a bit of a cultural shock for me as well. After relocating to a new country, many people experience culture shock. He claimed that the rodeo festivities provided the most significant cultural shock of his whole trip. She recalls that returning to her own country was more of a culture shock. As a result, there was a type of cultural shock of the future – a future shock, to be precise. Keep in mind that “cultural shock” is a term used for a purpose. As a result, the first semester is a period of culture shock for them.

My body and mind weren’t prepared to deal with the stress, cultural shock, and the pressure to raise student reading levels.

Despite the fact that she found culture shock to be disconcerting, there were some things that remained consistent.

These samples are drawn from corpora as well as from other online sources.

Culture Shock

For the most part, people will have some difficulty adjusting to their new nation and culture when they move. This is very natural, and it should be taken as a given. Cultural adjustment, or “culture shock,” as it is usually referred to, is the result of being cut off from activities you are accustomed to doing and experiencing. Culture shock does not occur as a result of a single occurrence, and it does not occur without any prior warning or reason. It gradually takes shape as a result of a sequence of tiny occurrences.

Living in a foreign country may cause you to reevaluate your ideals, which you may have previously accepted as absolutes.

While you’re dealing with culture shock, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the two. But if you have patience, you will be able to conquer it and grow as a result of the experience.

Stages of Cultural Adjustment

People react differently to changes, but research has shown that there are distinct phases that virtually everyone will go through at some point in their lives. The stages are as follows: 1. The feeling of euphoria at first. Everyone is ecstatic to be in their new nation and to embark on the adventures that await them. This phase is referred to as the “honeymoon period.” This moment may continue anywhere from a few days to several months, but it eventually fades away, and a sense of disappointment is unavoidable.

  1. After living in a nation for a period of time, you will begin to play a more active role in your community.
  2. This is the most challenging aspect of living in a foreign country.
  3. Gradual Adjustment is the third step.
  4. You’ll be more comfortable with your surroundings as time goes on.
  5. Your sense of humour will also return as a result of this sense of familiarity.
  6. You now feel at ease in your new nation and are able to perform effectively in both cultural environments.
  7. Your adaptation to your new nation has been so successful that you may anticipate feeling ” reverse culture shock” when you return to the United States.

Help for Culture Shock

Because culture shock is unavoidable, there isn’t much you can do to prevent it from occurring. However, there are steps you may do to reduce the severity of the consequences:

  • It’s important to remember that culture shock affects everyone who travels or lives abroad. You’re not the only one who’s been through anything like this
  • Create a notebook to keep track of your initial thoughts and feelings
  • Make an effort to find rational explanations for everything that looks weird or puzzling in your new cultural environment. Make an effort to see things from the perspective of the host culture. Determine the underlying worth of any conduct you don’t comprehend
  • Attempt to focus on the good features of your new culture rather than the bad ones by making a list of all the positive characteristics of your new culture
  • Avoid making disparaging remarks about the individuals who live in the area. These notions will only serve to enhance your sentiments of superiority and will prevent you from ever being acclimated to your new environment.
  • Stay away from Americans or other foreigners who are having a difficult time adjusting to their new environment. It is not appropriate to participate in rag sessions about your host culture. Choose instead an American who has lived in the country for a time, has survived culture shock, and has a favorable outlook on life in the country. This individual will assist you in gaining an understanding of the host culture.
  • Make close friends with the nationals of the host country. A small group of close, personal friends will assist you in learning about your new culture while also providing you with someone who will listen to your difficulties.
  • Maintain your physical activity and avoid sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself. Consider taking a weekend getaway to get away from it all
  • You could find yourself returning rejuvenated and with a fresh perspective.
  • Have trust in yourself that you will be able to adjust to your new environment. Over time, you will begin to feel better.


  • Someone who is unexpectedly exposed to a new culture, way of life, or set of attitudes will suffer a sense of disorientation. The following words describe our first morning in South America: ‘jet lag, cultural shock, altitude sickness
  • We are struggling to get a handle on it all’.
  • The sudden culture shock of being thrown into a group of people who have very different work ethics and other attitudes can be frightening.’
  • ‘As you read, please excuse me, for what I experienced was more culture shock than I experienced so many years ago.’
  • ‘She is returning for a family vacation after a year away.’
  • In many cases, the culture shock experienced in a business setting is more frustrating than the culture shock experienced in a societal one. If you ask her if she experienced any cultural shock during her two-week stay, she simply smiles and says, “Yes.”


It is pronounced as /klCHr SHäk/ or /kltr k/.

culture shock definition

a sensation of fear and bewilderment that happens when an individual comes into contact with a culture or way of life that is unknown to them.

Example of Culture Shock

  • When a student begins a semester abroad or when an individual immigrates to a new country and both encounter strange customs, attire, food, and other aspects of life, they are said to have “culture shock.”

Culture Shock Pronunciation

Guide to Proper Pronunciation and Usage The syllabification is culture shock. Pronunciation in the audio format Phonetic Spelling is a type of spelling that uses sounds instead of letters.

  • American English is pronounced /kUHl-chuhr shAHk/, whereas British English is pronounced /kUHl-chuh shOk/.

Phonetic Alphabet of the International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English is pronounced /klr k/, whereas British English is pronounced /klr k/.

Usage Notes

  • A cultural shock that occurs when conducting fieldwork is referred to as dysadaptation syndrome, as defined by Ronald Wintrob in “An Inward Focus: A Consideration of Psychological Stress in Fieldwork” in Stress and Response in Fieldwork (1969).

Related Quotation

  • ” Cultures do not, in most cases, remain static. There are a variety of forces at work to bring about change and diversity. The transformation affects certain communities and individuals differently, whilst others suffer from culture shock and succumb to ethnocentrism” (Kendall 2006:57).

Related Online Discussion

  • “Can you tell me about the most significant cultural shock you’ve ever experienced?” – Post a question on Reddit: reddit.com
You might be interested:  Which Artistic Aspect Of Chinese Culture Was Incorporated By Koreans Into Their Culture

Additional Information

  • The origins of the words “culture” and “shock” may be found in the Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
  • Ruth Barcan’s book, “Etymology of Culture and Shock.” 2004. Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy is a book that examines the phenomenon of nakedness in different cultures. Berg Publishers
  • Ruth Benedict
  • New York: Berg Publishers. 1934. Patterns of Cultural Behavior. Houghton Mifflin Company
  • Bock, Philip K. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company
  • Bock, Philip K. Culture Shock: A Reader in Modern Cultural Anthropology was published in 1983. Washington, DC: University Press of America
  • Chagnon, Napoleón Alphonseau, and Edward O. Wilson
  • Washington, DC: University Press of America
  • 1992 was a year of transition for me. .Yanomamö: The Last Days of Eden: The Celebrated Anthropologist’s Pioneering Work Among a Now-Impoverished Amazonian Tribe (Yanomamö: The Last Days of Eden) The New York publisher Jovanovich has published Delaney, Carol Lowery, and Deborah D. Kaspi’s book. n. 201 n. 201 n. 201 n. 201 Introducing Anthropology Through Experiential Learning: 1.Investigating Culture The Wiley-Blackwell Company, Chichester, West Sussex, England
  • Denzin, Norman K., and Yvonna S. Lincoln, eds., Wiley-Blackwell
  • Wiley-Blackwell
  • Denzin, Norman K., and Yvonna S. Lincoln, eds. s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 s. 200 Readings in Qualitative Inquiry, 2nd Edition SAGE Publications
  • Furnham, Adrian, and Stephen Bochne. r. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Culture Shock: Psychological Reactions to an Unfamiliar Environment, published in 1986. Methuen, London
  • Golde, Pegg (eds.). Wong, y. 1970. Women in the Field: An Anthropological Perspective The Aldine Group
  • Monic Rabe
  • Chicago: Aldine Group a. 2009.Culture Shock: Living and Working in a Different Culture d. Eugene, Oregon: Resource
  • George Stocking, Jr. W. 1986. Observers Observed: Essays on Ethnographic Fieldwork. New York: Columbia University Press. k. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Ward, Colleen, Stephen Bochner, and Adrian Furnha, eds. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press m. 200 m. 200 m. 200 3.The Psychological Aspects of Cultural Diversity Routledge, London, UK. e

Related Terms

“Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials,” by Diana Kendall, published in 2006. Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, California, 5th ed.

Works Consulted

Margaret L. Andersen and Howard Francis Taylor collaborated on this work. 2011.Sociology: The Essentials (Sociology: The Essentials). Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, California, 6th ed. David Brinkerhoff, Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega, and Rose Weitz are among others who have contributed to this work. Essentials of Sociology, 8th edition, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing. Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley are three brothers. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology is a comprehensive reference work on the subject of sociology.

  • Joan Ferrante is a writer who lives in New York City.
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  • Joan Ferrante is a writer who lives in New York City.
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Allyn and Bacon, 10th ed.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary are three members of the Jary family.

Publisher: HarperCollins, Glasgow, Scotland, 3rd edition of the Collins Dictionary of Sociology Kendall, Diana, et al.

Sociology in Our Times, 8th edition.

Kimmel and Amy Aronson are co-authors of this paper.

Allyn & Bacon, Boston.

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer, eds., Social Psychology, 14th edition, Boston: Pearson, 2012.

Pearson Education, Harlow, England, published the fourth edition.

Merriam-Collegiate Webster’s Dictionary (n.d) ().

(N.d.) It is the Oxford Dictionaries that you are looking for ().

Exploring Sociology from a Canadian Perspective, published in 2016.

Toronto: Pearson Education.

A Brief Introduction to Sociology, published in 2013.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall are the authors of this work.

A Sociology Dictionary is a collection of articles written by sociologists for sociologists.

Jon M.

Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, California, 2010.

Stolley, Kathy S., et al.

Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut.

Hickey authored this article.

Allyn & Bacon, 7th ed.

Tischler, Henry L., et al.

The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology, edited by Bryan S.

Cambridge University Press is located in Cambridge, England.

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (n.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Contributors to the Wikipedia project. Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary (n.d.) is an online encyclopedia. The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding via the use of the internet ().

Citethe Definition of Culture Shock

ASA is an abbreviation for the American Sociological Association (5th edition) “cultural shock,” edited by Kenton Bell, published in 2013. In the Sociology Dictionary of Open Education. The date was January 15, 2022. (). Culture shock as defined by the American Psychological Association (6th edition) (2013). Among the entries in K. Bell’s (ed.) Open education sociology dictionary are: This information was obtained from the Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) Kenton Bell is the editor of this volume.

  1. In the Sociology Dictionary of Open Education.
  2. .
  3. The Sociology of Education Dictionary is free to use.
  4. 15th of January, 2022.
  5. 15th of January, 2022.

Culture Shock – Culture and Psychology

Individuals may feel culture shock as a result of the acculturation process, which occurs when they are placed in a cultural milieu that is distinct from their own. Disorientation may also refer to the feeling of being out of one’s comfort zone when confronted with a new way of life, such as when relocating to a new nation, traveling to a new country, changing social situations (e.g., moving away for college), or transitioning to a different sort of lifestyle (e.g, dating after divorce). Common issues associated with culture shock include: loss of status (e.g., from provider to unemployed), unfamiliar social systems and social norms (e.g., relying on agencies rather than extended kin networks), distance from family and friends, information overload, language barriers, generational gaps, and possible technological gaps, to name a few examples.

There are four unique phases of culture shock, each of which has its own set of symptoms:


Because of the romantic nature of this time period, the disparities between old and modern culture are regarded in a romantic light. For example, after relocating to a new nation, an individual may fall in love with the new cuisine, the slower pace of life, and the customs of the inhabitants. During the first few weeks, the majority of individuals are enthralled by the unfamiliar culture. They associate with people who speak their own language and who are kind to visitors from other countries.


When the differences between the old and new cultures become more obvious over time (typically three months or longer, depending on the individual), it may cause worry or anguish to the person experiencing them. As one continues to encounter unpleasant situations that are foreign and irritating to one’s own cultural mindset, excitement may ultimately give way to aggravation, frustration, and fury. Language hurdles, severe variations in public cleanliness, traffic safety, food accessibility and quality, and other factors that cause people to feel disconnected from their environment may exacerbate these sentiments.

While navigating culture shock, we may experience insomnia as a result of the disruption of our circadian rhythm, digestive problems as a result of the disruption of our gut flora as a result of the different bacteria levels and concentrations in food and water, and difficulty in obtaining healthcare or treatment (e.g., medicines with different names or active ingredients).

The inability to communicate effectively in another language may prove to be a significant impediment to establishing new relationships.

International students frequently experience anxiety and increased pressure as they transition to new cultures, owing to the increased focus placed on their reading and writing abilities in particular.


When enough time has passed (often 6 to 12 months), individuals normally become acclimated to their new environment and establish habits. The host nation no longer has that “new” feel to it, and life returns to “normal.” Individuals have acquired problem-solving abilities for coping with the new culture, and the majority of people are accepting of the new culture with a positive attitude. Negative reactions and responses to the culture have lessened as a result of the culture starting to make sense to people.


It is possible to participate completely and easily in the host culture during the adaptation stage, but this does not imply complete conversion or absorption. Many characteristics of one’s home culture, such as accents, language, and values, are frequently retained by one’s adopted society. This stage is referred to as the bicultural stage in some circles.

Culture Shock

What exactly is it? We experience culture shock when we are uprooted from our cultural environment and placed in a new situation where the language, gestures, customs, signs, and symbols that have previously helped us to make sense of our surroundings have either lost their meaning or have acquired new meanings. When we are uprooted from our cultural environment, we experience a series of transitions that include: Most importantly, we have lost our social supports (family, friends, classmates, and coworkers), and we are forced to start again in a world where things are always changing and becoming more uncertain.

  • What can I do to avoid it?
  • Being able to predict the sentiments you may experience, as well as knowing the cycle of adjustment, can assist to reduce the amount of hardship you have when adjusting to life in the United States.
  • In what phases do people go through when they experience culture shock and cultural adjustment?
  • You have a bright outlook and are inclined to concentrate on the positive features of your new surroundings.
  • You may notice any of the following sensations or actions beginning to manifest themselves:
  • Insomnia and confusion
  • Acute homesickness for family, friends, and places
  • Loneliness
  • Feeling helpless
  • Irritability
  • Sadness and depression
  • Frequent frustration
  • Being easily angered
  • Fatigue
  • Withdrawing from friends or other people
  • Self-doubt and a sense of failure
  • Recurrent illness
  • A strong desire to return home

3. “Recovery and Adjustment stage” – Gradually, you begin to feel more comfortable in the new culture and are functioning well at work or school. Your confidence builds as you start to adjust to the differences and expand your social network. You are able to view things more objectively and are becoming more flexible. 4. “Reverse Culture Shock” – Do not underestimate the adjustment that will be required when you return home from your sojourn. People go through a similar series of stages upon re-entry to their home culture.

Sometimes the symptoms of the hostility stage last just a few days, but more commonly, a few weeks or even months.

Several different factors, such as your pre-departure expectations, coping skills, and any past experience living overseas can affect the degree to which a person is affected by culture shock, making each individual’s experience unique.

Also, people often move back and forth between the stages throughout their stay. Suggestions on how to make your adjustment as smooth as possible.

  • Recognize that what you’re going through is completely natural. Please keep in mind that the bad sensations are just transient, natural, and are typical to each change that a person goes through in their life
  • Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself enough time to work through this process. Maintain your health and well-being. Exercise, eat healthy, and practice relaxation and stress reduction strategies are all recommended. Keep a sense of humour about yourself. Be able to laugh at yourself and at the situations that you find yourself in
  • Resist the desire to continuously criticize the nation that you are visiting. Begin intentionally searching for logical explanations for everything that occurs in the United States that is weird, puzzling, or potentially dangerous. There is a reason why Americans conduct themselves in a different manner than individuals in your nation. Most importantly, if you are going through a tough time, do not be hesitant to talk to someone about it, especially if you are considering leaving the United States of America. You can always seek advice from family members, friends, members of your host department, or members of the Services to International Students and Scholars Office, all of whom have a great deal of expertise with the task at hand. Professional counseling is a valuable resource that is offered to all students at no cost and is frequently included in an employer’s health insurance plan. More information may be found in the COUNSELING section below.

Guidebooks to assist you in navigating your transition When you arrive in San Francisco, you may find copies of the following novels, which were published in the United States but are available on the internet or at any local bookshop or library. American Ways: A Guide for Foreigners in the United States is a guide for foreigners in the United States. Gary Althen’s Intercultural Press published a second version of his book (2002) Stress Management for Dummies is a book written by Allen Elkin.

Transitions William Bridges is the author of this piece.

Park Avenue Books is a publishing house located on Park Avenue in New York City (1997).


Levine, with contributions from other authors.

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