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.

Predisposition

Predisposition

[We] live in a field that extends into a distant past and into a far future.

S. E. Asch, Social Psychology, 1952

Not all strangers come to a new environment for the same reason or with the same personal history. Nor are the responses of that environment toward them uniform. Each individual brings his or her own unique experiential background that serves as a prologue to the subsequent adaptation process. An individual's past history, present action, and future evolution are linked to the “time-binding” nature of human “self-reflexivity” Qantsch, 1980; Korzybski, 1958; Weinberg, 1959/1987). The past and the future are incorporated into the present realities to which individual strangers must orient themselves and ground their aspirations for the future. In Asch's (1952) words: “An integral part ...

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