Culture Shock

Summary of the Bennett’s article “Transition Shock: Putting Culture Shock in Perspective”

In the article, “Transitional Shock: Putting Culture Shock in Perspective” by Janet M Bennett, transitional shock can be defined as that shock, which occurs because of a certain change. This certain changes result into other shocks, which occur due to change in something into a new thing. These changes are usually shown in form of a shock that can be used as a kind of evidences to this change. However, transitional shock has several sub categories of shock, which can be used to define clearly. The shock that is being talked about by the author in this article is culture shock, which is a sub category of transitional shock.

Several professionals have given several definitions of culture shock. In general, they all have tried to bring out one meaning, which is that culture shock is a type of a shock expressed in response to a loss of something due to a certain change that have occurred. There are very many situations, which culture shock can be experienced; all of them depend on the loss and the change. Like the loss of a loved one and adapting to the change of not having him or her around or like the change of location. When one changes location, he or she tends to lose the old location and the change is experienced when one is trying to adapt into the new location.

Lastly, in our life, we have experienced culture shock in one way or another, and how we react to it can become a recommendation and a source to the others who are experiencing it. We may not entirely show the same elements when we are experiencing culture shock but the similarities we show at the same point of shock give us the resources to our culture shock. Therefore, the main point that the author is trying to communicate in the article is that culture shock is a sub-category of transitional shock and that it is more visible than the other sub categories of shock.

Symptoms, resolutions, stages, and responses experienced in different situations.

Situation 1

However, in order to identify culture shock, several things are used. Additionally, there are several solutions to culture shock, which are also followed in order to give the several changes. Each type of culture shock shows several symptoms, resolutions, stages and responses. For example, the culture shock that is shown when freedom of expression is given with the requirement that it should demonstrate strict formatting requirements. The symptoms, which I experienced were those of disbelieve because I could not believe that the freedom of expression has conditions and requirements.

The resolution towards this culture shock that I exhibited was that of defense and resistance. I tried to be more defensive about this move and I tried to resist this kind of change as much as possible because I am used to the old rules where there are no necessary conditions or requirements attached to the freedom of expression. According to Clyde Sergeant model, I went through certain stages until I fully accepted the new change. The first stage that I went through was the stage where first I recognized that there is a change, which has been made.

Then after noticing that there has been a new change, I moved into the next stage of fighting. At this stage, I was very rebellious against the new rule to the rule where freedom of expression had some requirements. After this, I then moved to the next stage where I became discouraged and ashamed after seeing that there was nothing I could do towards the new change. After noticing that there was nothing that I could do, I moved to the next stage of filtering, where I tried to accommodate the new change but I accommodated the new rule in my own way. I tried to filter out the different conditions that I wanted. Finally, I came to the last stage where I accepted the new change of freedom of expression. Still in the same freedom of expression, I came up with different responses in order to answer the conflict and resolution that might arise or that had risen in relation to the new change of freedom of expression having requirements attached to it.

Situation 2

Another good example where this culture shock could be shown is when the students changed there roles from being students to become teachers and back again to students. When my situation changed to that of a teacher from a student, at first I shown several symptoms. I was overwhelmed with the fact that I was in control. I came up with a resolution that I would try to change anything that I thought the teachers were doing wrongly. During the culture shock, I went through several changes.

The first stage that I went through is the stage where I first realized that I was the teacher. The second stage is when I became happy because of the fact that I was in control. The third stage that I went through was the stage where I started filtering out what I thought the teachers were doing wrong, to what I thought was the right thing to do as a teacher. Finally, in the last stage, I came to accept the fact that I was a teacher. As a response to accepting the change, I came up with several responses that would reduce the conflicts that are usually involved when teaching.

On the other hand, when I changed back to a student from a teacher, the symptoms that I exhibited were that of a discouraged person and I felt like I had no motivation. The resolutions that I made were very defensive and resistant at first before I accepted the fact that I was a student. However, I went through the same stages that I exhibited when I was changing from a student to a teacher but the only difference is that, when I was changing from a student into a teacher, the shock was very positive as compared to when I was changing from a teacher into a student, which was very negative. The responses that I finally decided to were that I should try to change by becoming a better student after I had moved through the different kinds of cultural shocks from changing into a teacher and then back into a student.

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