culture shock

(noun) A feeling of anxiety and disorientation that occurs when an individual encounters an unfamiliar culture.

Example: When a student starts a semester abroad or a person immigrates to a new country and both experience unfamiliar norms in customs, dress, food, and mores.

Audio Pronunciation: (cul·ture shock)

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Usage Notes:

  • Plural: culture shocks
  • Cultural shock experienced while doing fieldwork is called dysadaptation syndrome as used by Ronald Wintrob in “An Inward Focus: A Consideration of Psychological Stress in Fieldwork” in Stress and Response in Fieldwork.

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