uneasiness to the "white furies" of unreasonable and uncontrollable rage
attributed to colonials in the last century by indigenous peoples. Fourth, there
is a dissatisfaction with the new ways and an idealization of "the way things
were." Fifth, recovery skills that used to work before no longer seem to work.
Sixth, there is a sense that this culture shock discrepancy is permanent and will
never go away.
Experiencing a new culture is a sudden and sometimes unpleasant feeling
causing persons to reevaluate both the new host and their own home culture.
Until recently, culture shock was assumed to be a consistently negative
experience, much like an illness or disease. Oberg (1960) mentioned six
negative aspects of culture shock including: (1) strain resulting from the effort
of psychological adaptation, (2) a sense of loss or deprivation referring to the
removal of former friends, status, role, and/or possessions, (3) rejection by or
rejection of the new culture, (4) confusion in the role definition, role
expectations, feelings, and self-identity, (5) unexpected anxiety, disgust,
orindignation regarding cultural differences between the old and new ways, and
(6) feelings of helplessness as a result of not coping well in the new environ-
Others have applied Oberg's framework more broadly to include "culture
fatigue" (Guthrie, 1975), "language shock" (Smalley, 1963), "role shock"
(Byrnes, 1966), and "pervasive ambiguity" (Ball-Rokeach, 1973). Each of
these early definitions has conveyed the meaning of culture shock as a reactive
state of specific pathology or deficit which is both the source and result of
alienation in a new culture according to the "medical model." More recent
explanations of culture shock have emphasized the "educational model,"
describing the adjustment period as a state of growth and development which—
however painful it might be—may result in positive and even essential insights.
Several different paradigms that are used to describe culture shock are
surveyed in this chapter. Later we will describe what was learned from the
accounts of students participating in this study which contribute toward a
unique and different definition of culture shock.
S. Lysgaard (1955) first developed the U-curve hypothesis to describe the
adjustment patterns of international students in a host culture. Oberg (1958)
described seven stages of adjustment: (1) incubation stage, (2) crises resulting
from normal daily activity, (3) understanding the host culture, (4) objective
viewing of the host culture, (5) reentry, (6) reverse culture shock, and (7)
readjustment to the home country. The initial U-curve adjustment was
broadened to a W-curve by J. T. Gullahorn and J. E. Gullahorn (1963) who
pointed out how the adjustment process on returning home resembled the
original adjustment process abroad. F. Brown (1989) reviews previous stage
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