The Stages of Cultural Adjustment
When moving from one "culture" to another, individuals pass through definite stages of cultural adjustment. This adjustment is an ongoing process as demanded by each new situation. The following discussion is based on a four-stage model as identified by Gregory Trifonovitch:
The Honeymoon Stage
When their misunderstandings mount up, they are likely to experience the second stage of cultural adjustment.
The Hostility Stage
This stage is characterized by frustration, anger, anxiety, and sometimes depression. Following the initial excitement is frustration with the bureaucracy. Sleep patterns may be disrupted and the individual may suffer from indigestion and be unable to eat. Sometimes these individuals react to this frustration by rejecting the new or predominant environment in which they feel discomfort. The internal reasoning might be, "If I feel bad it's because of them," thus blaming the external environment for the bad feelings. Some of these hostilities are translated into fits of anger over minor frustrations, excessive fear and worse, complete withdrawal.