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SOC 120 week 2 checkpoint Culture Shock

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Culture Shock 1
Culture Shock
Dawette Dunkley
Axia College of University of Phoenix

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Culture Shock 2
Culture Shock
Culture shock is inevitable in just about any other culture different from my own, and even
more so in isolated and secluded culture such as the Yanomamo tribe. If I were to visit and study
the Yanomamo, I would have to make certain preparation to safeguard against possible culture
shock.
My preparation would involve doing background research on their history, customs,
geographic location, and climate. As communication will obviously be an issue, learning about
their language or dialect as well as using an interpreter on the trip will be essential.
I experienced culture shock as I was visiting the home of one of my coworkers. She is of
Middle Eastern descent and originally from Tehran, Iran. Although I knew the first-language of
my co-worker was Farsi; I have never heard her communicate in her native tongue because she
speaks fluent English. Therefore, I was shocked by the language as well as certain norms among
her family.
I found that unlike my coworker, her parents and other family members had more difficulty
speaking in the English language; so she spent most of the time interpreting. Interestingly, I
noticed that my coworker appeared to be more animated whenever she communicates in her
native tongue as oppose to communicating in English. Additionally, I noticed it was the norm for
the family to sit on the floor during dinner, and instead of cakes and pies for dessert, they served
fresh fruits like oranges, pears, and tangerines.
Four components of culture include symbol, language, values, and norms (Axia College,
2010). Symbols such as body language and hand gestures vary from culture to culture, as one
symbol may carry positive meaning in one culture but may carry negative connotations in
another. Language is at the heart of communication in any culture; in fact, Axia College (2010)

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Culture Shock 3
cites that, the cultural lens of language allows people to understand and view the world around
them. Values, beliefs, and norms help to set standards by which to assess what society holds to be
most important. These standards serve as guidelines for the way people live and interact, as they
guide the behavior, beliefs, and norms of society. Understanding the major components in culture
in my own experience would help to avoid misunderstandings, miscommunications, and the
obvious culture shock. Had I taken the time to learn more about my coworkers background such
as her customs, language, beliefs, and norms; my experience would have been more comfortable.
References

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Anonymous
Excellent resource! Really helped me get the gist of things.

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