Sample Essay on Cultural Adaptation

Cultural adaptation refers to the process of acquiring a new culture as a result of change in environment and even the people that one is used to interacting with. It is a normal process that most people go through. However, it should be noted that adjusting to a new culture comes with a variety of feelings and reactions. Below are the stages that people go through during cultural adaptation.

The Honeymoon Stage

This is the first stage to be experienced when one arrives into a new culture. At this point, almost everything looks new and interesting. There is so much curiosity in the new environment. A person is filled with appreciation and anticipation for the opportunities that can be found in the new culture. At this stage, there is so much energy and enthusiasm to discover more.

The Culture Shock Stage

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At this stage, at least one has become familiar with a few things about the new culture. Based on what the person experiences, sees and gets from other about the new culture, he starts to make comparison with his home culture. It is at this stage that one begins to experience the conflict  that comes with differences in the two cultures like:

  • Use of a foreign language
  • Uncertainty on how to interact with people of different social classes
  • Differences in food and eating habits
  • Differences in the education systems
  • Differences in religious beliefs and practices
  • Finding that other people are very impatient when you cannot understand things their way.
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The conflicts that you will experience at this stage can be with others or internally. As a result of this, you will be subjected to feelings of homesickness, anxiety, anger, fear, loneliness, confusion, less competence among others.

The Recovery Stage

After spending some time in the new culture, a number of people will begin to make resolutions to the conflicts and start regaining the feeling of appreciation developed in the first instance. This is because, you will have learnt more about the culture and developed a better understanding of how to manage the internal and external demands and conflicts of the new culture. At this stage, one is likely to experienced mixed feelings of the first and second stages.

Adaptation Stage

At this stage, people will have developed a realistic understanding of the similarities and differences that exist between the new and home culture. Thus, they already have an idea of their likes and dislikes about the two. A number of people prefer to become ‘bicultural’ by adopting certain aspects of both cultures. This stage is characterized by a sense of maturity, confidence, tolerance and flexibility.It should be noted that not all people who visit new environments have to go through all these stages and in the order in which they are presented above. Besides, even the duration of time that can be spent on every stage varies from one person to another. There are those who can go through a given stage twice or even more.
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