Second Reader’s Report
After a cursory introduction and pause for definitions, this paper begins
recounting the theories of culture and cultural interaction. It is well researched,
citing all the eminent authorities from Geert Hofstede to Milton Bennett and
most in between. (Unfortunately in the case of the author – or editor – cited as
“liu”, it is unclear as to which work or even which liu is being cited as there is
no mention of such an author in the bibliography). In general this chapter
provides a sound academic background, enumerating all the components
necessary in the study of social interaction: e.g. categorization, out-grouping,
dimensional approach, identities, perception, communication, prejudice, hi/lo
context, etc.. By the end of this chapter, a solid theoretical groundwork is laid
for the introduction of the concept of culture shock.
The second chapter begins with the definition and symptoms of culture shock
and then moves on to describing its sources and classic stages. As with the first
chapter, this one is well organized, referenced and written.
However, if the “main aim… [of the paper as stated in the conclusion] is to help
the sojourner to comprehend the new culture and consequently to
comprehend his or her own cultural background.”(p57), then a more liberal use
of illustrative and practical examples would have been helpful (such as was
done in a limited manner in the section on the stages of culture shock). In
general this paper researches and collates the academic theory very well, but
its intended audience, those who find themselves in acute culture shock, may
find it abstract and inaccessible.
The use of language is uniformly excellent throughout although the method of
citation is sometimes inconsistent, and as mentioned above, one major source
is not included in the bibliography.
Recommended Mark: B
Michael F. George, M.A.
If you were mentoring a group of recent arrivals into a new culture, how would
you make practical and concrete the theory you lay out in this paper? You cite
Coffman and Harris’s remedies, but they are also rather theoretical. How could
you make all this useful and helpful for a naïve sojourner?
When you write on p 44 that “ethnocentrism is natural and unavoidable” do
you mean that even a fully integrated individual such as you describe on p 55
still harbors the core of “natural and unavoidable” ethnocentrism?