Cultural adaptation

Stages of cultural adaptation edit

Winkelman's (1994) four stages stages of cultural adaptation:

  1. Honeymoon phase. Excitement and fascination with the new culture. This is where they will overlook minor problems and look forward to learning new things.
  2. Crisis period (culture shock). This is where excitement turns to disappointment and there are more and more differences that occur. Problems start to be overwhelming and irritating and may use the "fight-back" technique by saying rude remarks or making jokes.
  3. Adjustment phase. This is where they learn to accept the culture and to change their negative attitude to a positive one.
  4. Acceptance and Adaptation phase. This is where they will feel at home and become involved in activities and may enjoy some of that countries customs.
  5. Reentry shock. This is experienced upon returning to the home country and the return may follow with initial euphoria, crisis or disenchantment. It may be hard to readjust and may feel like they are not accepted.

This is just one model - what other stages might be considered? For example, this article on culture shock uses different labels for the phases and suggests that Stage 3 Adjustment be broken down further into:

  1. Reintegration
  2. Automony
    and includes a second cycle of adaptation related to returning to the original culture.

See also edit