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Culture Shock

The term culture shock was originally coined by Kalvero Oberg in 1960 to refer to the anxiety and frustration experienced in a new cultural environment due to the loss of familiar cues that guide our daily behaviors. Oberg not only highlighted the emotional aspects of culture shock, including anger, frustration, anxiety, and feelings of helplessness, but also suggested that its symptoms might include behaviors such as “excessive concern over drinking water, food, dishes and bedding”; “refusal to learn the language of the host culture”; and a “terrible longing to be back home, to be able to have a good cup of coffee and a piece of apple pie.” In addition to this rather quaint description, Oberg identified four stages of culture shock, commencing with (1) ...

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