Culture Shock Academic Essay Sample

Culture Shock

Culture shock is feeling unsettled when one person moves from one culture to another unfamiliar one. This is usually seen amongst immigrants, expatriates or when a person goes to visit another country. The most common cause of culture shock is individuals in foreign environments.


There are four main stages subscribed to the phenomenon of culture shock, and for those who go through it. Not everyone is subjected to the four stages as many people skip stages. The first phase of culture shock is the ‘’Honeymoon’’ phase. In this phase, individuals see the difference between their old culture and new culture through tainted lenses, and in a favourably romantic light, and are fascinated with the culture.

The honeymoon period eventually ends, and the ‘’Negotiation’’ period begins. The honeymoon period usually lasts for around three months, before the negotiation phase starts. In this phase individuals notice the huge gap amongst their new culture and their old one, and this creates anxiety within them. The cause for this is usually due to the negative points about the new culture that the individual sees as evident, which contradicts their positive view during the honeymoon period. An example is language barriers, which can create anxiety.

The ‘’Adjustment’’ period follows usually after 6-12 months, where one becomes accustomed to local traditions and values. After an individual is set in a routine, the cultural differences provide less anxiety and shock, and they reasonably know what to expect in different situations, and start viewing the cultural differences in a positive light again.

The last phase, known as the ‘’adaption’’ phase, occurs when the individual is fully integrated into the new culture and actively participates in many aspects of it. It does not, however, mean that they lose some of their traits from their old culture, as they keep many of them such as accent and language.


Many people do not overcome culture shock, and as a result, are lef idolizing their old culture, while living within another entirely different culture, which is alien to them. This leads to the establishment of ghettos, where minority groups who have not assimilated well live. This has led to many impoverished areas around the world, as ghettos are isolated from the host society, and are neglected in return. Many ghettos are areas with high level of poverty and crime.

Culture shock is a major phenomenon around the world, as the world has become globalized and more people travel to different countries for economic reasons and tourism.

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