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culture shock

Definition of Culture Shock

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

Example of Culture Shock

  • When a student starts a semester abroad or an individual immigrates to a new country and both experience unfamiliar norms in custom, dress, food, and mores.

Culture Shock Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˈkəltʃər ʃɑk/
    • British English
      • /ˈkʌltʃə ʃɒk/
  • Syllabification: (cul·ture shock)

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 (1969).

Related Quotation

  • Cultures do not generally remain static. There are many forces working toward change and diversity. Some societies and individuals adapt to this change whereas others suffer culture shock and succumb to ethnocentrism” (Kendall 2006:57).

Related Online Discussion

Additional Information

Related Terms


Reference

Kendall, Diana. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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Cite the Definition of Culture Shock

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “culture shock.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved August 26, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/culture-shock/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

culture shock. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/culture-shock/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “culture shock.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed August 26, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/culture-shock/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“culture shock.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 26 Aug. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/culture-shock/>.