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Posted on July 27th, 2012, by

As a rule, the change of the cultural environment affects considerably the psychological state of an individual, to the extent that the new cultural environment can even provoke a cultural shock. Moreover, the cultural shock is practically inevitable because an individual cannot adapt in a day to a new cultural environment, which is consistently different from the one he or she has grown up. In such a situation, the ability of an individual to get integrated into the new cultural environment is crucial for his or her adaptability to the new culture. In contrast, the failure of an individual to get integrated into the new cultural environment can lead to a profound psychological crisis or even depression. As a result, an individual can be either integrated and assimilated into the new culture or becomes an outcast who feels being stranger in the new culture.

At the same time, the process of the integration and adaptation to the new culture is quite a complicated process. In fact, it is practically impossible to start living in a new cultural environment without a transitional period, during which an individual learns local cultural norms and rules and develops a new model of behavior which meet both the norms and traditions of the local culture and those of the native culture of the individual. Anyway, the change of the cultural environment, it is always a compromise between the local culture and the native culture.

At the beginning, when an individual just arrives to a new country, he or she suffers a tremendous cultural shock.

The more different the local culture is from his or her native culture the larger and longer is the cultural shock. The problem is that the cultural difference devaluates norms and traditions which used to be meaningful for an individual in his or her native culture. Instead, an individual has to learn local norms and traditions and accept them to become a part of the local community.

However, the local culture and the native culture of the individual can come into clashes because of their original contradictions, which exist between Oriental and Western cultures, for instance. As a result, an individual needs to accept some local cultural norms and refuse from his or her own traditions to get integrated in the local society.

Eventually, an individual, in the result of such cultural compromises, copes with the cultural shock and leads a normal life.

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