The Five Stages of Culture Shock: Critical Incidents around the World

By Paul Pedersen | Go to book overview

incredible time for the remainder of the time in Japan.

INSIGHT:
Conflict between students demonstrates the wide range of backgrounds and habits individual students bring with them when they go abroad. Some students responded to the opportunity of tourism by seeking out learning experiences with other locals while others focused almost exclusively on their own needs. When the student was affluent, the temptation to focus on his or her own needs seemed hard to resist.

Nightmare on Ropponyi Street. This incident occurred on my second night in Japan. I was in Tokyo with three friends. It was a Wednesday night and we were looking for a place to go and dance and hang out. We were in the nightclub district close to our hotel--known as Ropponyi Street. Many foreigners flock to these clubs in this area as we were told by many. It was about midnight so if anything was going to be happening it would be at this time.

We walked up to a club called Buzz. We took the elevator up and got off. The bouncer was standing at the door and we asked him if just one of us could peek our head in to see if it looked like fun. The man was very rude and told us that it was club policy that he couldn't let us look. It was clear to us that the club must have been dead and he wanted us to pay the door charge of about $15 to $20 U.S. dollars just to get in. We started yelling at him and calling him rude names in English that we thought he wouldn't be able to understand. Apparently he understood more than we anticipated because soon we were basically being escorted down the elevator and out of the club by another man. He and the bouncer were both giving us very angry and dirty looks as well as saying rude things in Japanese I am sure. I could only make out the word "Americans" every other sentence or so.

INSIGHT:
Being the victim of racist stereotypes in Japan was an unpleasant but important learning experience for the student. When locals had a bad experience with one group of students they were likely to take it out on the next group. In the same way students who had a bad experience with one group of locals were likely to generalize that experience to all locals.


CONCLUSION

The first of the five stages is called the "honeymoon" or "tourist" stage of culture shock. In this stage, the students were still encapsulated by their backhome identities and the adventure abroad was still something of an unreal experience to them. In the sixty-two incidents reported in this chapter, this detached attitude is illustrated by a variety of repeated themes.

-77-

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The Five Stages of Culture Shock: Critical Incidents around the World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - Experiencing Culture Shock 1
  • Conclusion 11
  • 2 - Critical Incidents Around the World 14
  • 3 - The Honeymoon Stage 26
  • Introduction 26
  • Conclusion 77
  • 4 - The Disintegration Stage 79
  • Introduction 79
  • Conclusion 132
  • 5 - The Reintegration Stage 134
  • Introduction 134
  • Conclusion 199
  • 6 - The Autonomy Stage 201
  • Introduction 201
  • Conclusion 243
  • 7 - The Interdependence Stage 245
  • Introduction 245
  • Conclusion 263
  • References 271
  • Index 277
  • About the Author 283
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