Study: Acculturation

In present age of globalization, staffs are often sended abroad and a growing number of people choose to live and work oversea. However, living in a strange cultural environment brings not only some novelty, but also some pressure. This is because different culture means a certain distinction of lifestyle and thinking pattern, which may bring difficulty and pressure to people. In order to explore the process of culture shock, Tange carried out some research and issued an article “In a cultural No Man`s Land – or, how long does culture shock last? in 2005. However, I could not totally agree with the view of the article. The purpose of this paper is to give my view of acculturation that partly agree and disagree with Tange. The essay is divided into two sections.

The first section describes my agreement while the second section illustrates my disagreement with Tange. Immigrants adapt to environment more actively than sojourners When introducing the type of people interviewed, Tange said that immigrants often try harder to adapt to society and be more active than sojourners.I agree with this issue. The social adaptation of immigrants or sojourners immigrating to a new city depends on many factors. These factors could be demonstrated as follow: With regards to motivation of immigration,the intention of immigrants moving into cities is more specific than sojourners’. Hence, it is easier for immigrants to adapt to new environment. On the other hand, most sojourners do not integrate into the society actively because of the thought of temporary residence.

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As Immigrants have a clear goal of staying in the cities, they initiatively establish their social network and get a higher level of social adaptation. In terms of residence time, the longer residence period contributes to adapting to the culture, and vice versa. Since immigrants live in the cities long-term, they have enough time to understand and adapt to the lifestyle of local area.

In addition, an increased association with the residents could also help the immigrants to integrate into the society. Acculturation is a long-term processTange hold the opinion that acculturation is a long-term process, which also obtain my support. Adapting to a new culture, from understanding the culture to finally adapting to it, is a long-term process.

To achieve the goal of acculturation and overcome culture shock, some difficult processes should be experienced. For example, the target language culture would gradually replace the language, lifestyle and thoughts of native culture. In these processes, Sojourners gradually have new understanding of the surrounding and the residents by contacting with people in the host country.Then, Individuals started to recognize the difference between the two cultures in terms of thinking pattern and change their expectation to adapt to the new environment. Over a period of time, sojourners’ interpersonal relationship gets continuous improvement and social networking is more completed. In other words, experiencing some difficulties, individuals begin to adapt to the new cultural environment and try to understand and trust the host culture as an “insider”.

This is a complicated process that requires some long-term work.The impact of time on the psychological adjustment The first person who implemented research about time factors was Lysgard. In 1955, he interviewed more than 200 Norwegian Fulbright students in the USA and concluded that intercultural communication is a U-shaped curve. However, Tange (2005) objected to the U-curve mode.

She interviewed seven immigrants from Scotland but living in Copenhagen. She found that the level of psychological adjustment of sojourner is the worst in the second year of an intercultural encounter.This theory is reasonable, because in a certain sense, acculturation can reconstruct a new stable system in daily life by destroying the previous system established by their original culture. However, this theory is not always true because not everyone can enjoy a sense of excitement when entering to a new cultural environment.

Some people could not experience all stages and others may undergo these stages repeatedly. We should realize that the acculturation process could be affected by various factors including difference between the host and maternal culture and other factors.Thus, the acculturation process varies from person to person and theory of the two-year crisis ignored the difference between individuals.

Internal factors that affects acculturation According to Tange’s article, the type of the people interviewed and the familiarity of the new environment could affect the intercultural. However, as can be known, adapting to a different culture is a complicated process. Therefore, many other factors which can also decide the stages of acculturation should be taken into account.

The factors of personality and demography will be described as follow. ? Personality The factors of personality which can predict the process of acculturation are self-monitoring and extraversion. Self-monitoring a concept to describe whether a person trust their ability or the external factors when facing problems. If a man believes in external factors such as luck, he is a person of external control. Kuo, Gray and Lin (1976) found that self-monitoring is an effective method to predict the length of adaptation of Chinese immigrants in the USA. Extraversion is another personality factors that researchers concern about.

Ward and Chang (1997) proposed hypothesis of cultural fitting to integrate these studies. They believe that the people are associated with environment. Therefore, the more extraversion a person has, the less difficulties the person will experience with regards to acculturation.

2? Demographic factors Demographic factors could also affect the process of acculturation. Demographic factors include gender, age, and education. In terms of gender factor, in general, researchers believe that female migrants can adapt to the new environment more easily.In fact, men and women all have this problem, but their adaptability express in different aspects. Sam (1998) studied young immigrants living in Norway. He found that when these young people had problems of acculturation, girls experience more depressive symptoms while boys were reported to have more antisocial behavior. Factors like age and education could also impact the process of acculturation Discussion I tend to agree with some of Tange’s opinion.

The viewpoints that immigrants more actively adapt to environment than sojourner and acculturation is a long-term process gain my agreement.Despite some reliable viewpoints, Tange’s view of the impact of time on the psychological adjustment could not convince me. In addition, Tange ignored some factors affecting stages of acculturation. Conclusion Using objective methods, Tange created an outstanding study of acculturation.

The view expressed and the conclusions are consistent with reality. I partly agree with the Tange’s opinion, especially the viewpoints that immigrants adapt to new environment more actively than sojourner and acculturation is a long process.However, in my opinion, as the complicated process of culture shock could not be considered fully, Tange’s theory of two-year crisis is still controversial. In addition,many internal factors about acculturation were not considered, which also limits the reliability of the conclusions.

On the whole, I tend to trust tanges` view, although some of the views are controversial. 1164 words Reference Lysgaard, Sverre (1955). “Adjustment in a foreign society: Norwegian Fulbright Grantees Visiting The United States” in International Social Science Bulletin 7: 45-51.Tange, H(2005),‘In a cultural No Man`s Land-or, how long does culture shock last? ‘, Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 10 Kuo, W, Gray, R;Lin, N(1976),’Locus of control and symptoms of distress among Chinese- Americans’. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, pp: 176~187 Ward C, Chang W C. (1997), ‘Cultural fit: A new perspective on personality and sojourner adjustment’. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, pp: 525~533 Sam, D.

L. (1998), ‘Predicting life satisfaction among adolescents from



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