Xia defines culture as a vague concept with differences in such factors as sight, customs, religion, tradition, and thoughts. When people move to another country, they often encounter these differences (Xia 97). Due to the extreme differences in culture that people often encounter, it becomes quite hard to adjust to new culture and they are mentally affected hence experiencing stress because of alien traditions. This stress is as a result of confusion and emotional discomfort and it is manifested by a number of symptoms like anxiety, depression and feeling vulnerable (Xia 97).
However, Xia’s research suggests some steps that can help reduce the shock or its impact. Accordingly, he states that Pre-Departure preparation reduces chances of suffering stress. People need to be prepared for the new and different culture before travelling abroad in what is called pre-departure.
Xia also purports that Understanding the stages of culture shock is also pertinent to adjustment process. The author addressed four steps; honeymoon phase, (Xia 98), Negativity phase, Adjustment phase, and Mastery stage (Xia 98). According to the author’s analysis, when an individual has already settled in the new culture, he/she has great chance of limiting or totally alleviating stress as he/she continues adapting.
Self confidence builds efficacy which in turn builds the belief that an individual can do a certain task. Similarly, optimism decreases anxiety and instils the zeal to learn (Xia 100). The author also found out that acceptance of the new culture as it is makes an individual more comfortable and adjustment is smooth and successful (Xia 100). Another crucial factor identified by Xia is Social Support.
When people offer solace, encouragement, approval and advice, personal ability to function and adjust is enhanced (Xia 100). The methods suggested to improve adaptation to new culture may not work all the time for all the people, familiarization with new culture and understanding culture shock stages works better for most people (Xia 100). Reducing stress when entering new culture is pertinent but author notes that this cannot be eliminated entirely.
Some anxiety and depression motivates learning (Xia 100). Due to high levels of, culture shock is common. With such a Situation, cross cultural communication is now a global concern with individual ability to easily and effectively adjust to new culture being rewarded and given more attention.
Analysis of Impact of Culture Shock on Individual Psychology. International Journal of Psychological Studies, 1. 2(2009): 97-102