Essay 2: U Curve and W curve adjustment

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U Curve Hypothesis
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Aims to explain the cultural adjustment in progressive stages that an immigrant would go through from arrival to eventual adaptation.
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Honeymoon/euphoric stage
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• When a person arrives in a new country, the first stage that they will go through • everything about the new culture will delight and amuse the new arrival • The country from which the person has travelled will be constantly compared to the new country in disparaging terms • The new language will be studied with enthusiasm • first few months are usually a time of great progress • lasts from three to six months, but for some people it can last up to a year • People find their new environment exciting, interesting and fun. • Tend to notice similarities between their home and the new place and find differences interesting.
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Hostile/culture shock stage
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• arrives with little or no warning • can be triggered by a seemingly small incident or even have no apparent cause • people begin to feel somewhat negative and critical • The person affected will attempt to reconnect with their home culture, by watching films or reading books and papers that are connected with their homeland • Cultural differences will no longer be celebrated, but seen as a source of conflict • Familiar or comfort food from the traveller’s home country will be sought out and consumed with delight • Last for six months, but it varies from person to person.
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3. Adjustment or coping stage
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• people realize that the stress and problems are not due to the locals deliberate attempts to frustrate them • the differences in cultures, including values and beliefs, which resulted in conflicts • they become less critical of the host culture, and deal with problems and conflicts positively.
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Acceptance/acculturation stage
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• a kind of equilibrium is reached where the immigrant learns to accept the differences between their host culture and their home culture • celebrate those differences where appropriate • Individuals start to regain self-esteem while developing ability to understand and communicate with the host group • certain customs that the host culture reveres will become part of the everyday life of the new resident • e.g. the custom of leaving shoes outside the house in Japan, which many one-time residents of that country take back to their home country • people develop a sense of integration with the host environment and are effectively bicultural
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Return to home culture: Reverse culture shock stage
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• Re-entry is as intense or sometimes more challenging than the first entry o Severity determined by: – Amount of time abroad – Degree of differences in the host country – Student’s background variables (personality, culture, previous intercultural experiences, religion, gender, etc.) • the adjustment curve is repeated on re-entry to the home culture • individuals experience culture shock twice: once during the first entry to the new culture, and another culture shock during re-entry to the home culture • they have returned to a group of people, and indeed a country, that has changed in the interim • These changes can be subtle or far-reaching, but they will affect the way that the returnee is accepted by, or accepts, their own host country and its residents • As these people have been transformed and gain new identity via successful acculturation, they have to readjust to their home culture → Realities and imperfections of home long forgotten • They view things differently now, and might have communication issues with their peers and families • Stress and frustration can also arise from the fear of being treated differently by their native people.
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affective
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measure amount of stress, physical and mental health
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behavioural
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instrumental adjustment interaction adjustment relational adjustment
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cognitive
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interest in other cultures tolerance for culture differences positive attitudes
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similarity-attraction hypothesis
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preference for people similar to them in group bias is assuring consensual validation
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culture-distance hypothesis
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cultural distance determine difficulty in establishing and maintaining of harmonious relations especially gap in core issues

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