This book looks at the movements of immigrants and refugees and the challenges they face as they cross cultural boundaries and strive to build a new life in an unfamiliar place. It focuses on the psychological dynamic underpinning of their adaptation process, how their internal conditions change over time, the role of their ethnic and personal backgrounds, and of the conditions of the host environment affecting the process. Addressing these and related issues, the author presents a comprehensive theory, or a "big picture,"of the cross-cultural adaptation phenomenon.

The Process of Cross-Cultural Adaptation

The process of cross-cultural adaptation

No construction without destruction.

Kenneth Burke, “Communication and the Human Condition,” 1974

By holding his breath, he loses it. By letting it go, he finds it.

Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity, 1951

Adaptation is fundamental to human existence. As Ruben (1983) observes: “Living systems act instinctively to meet the challenge or threat and to restore balance and harmony. Once regained, equilibrium continues until the system is controlled by new environmental demands” (p. 137). Every new experience, particularly the drastic and disorienting ones that strangers encounter in a new environment, leads to new learning and growth. The unique character of the human mind, after all, is its plasticity—the capacity to face challenges and, in doing so, acquire new knowledge and ...

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