This glossary explains frequently used terms relating to the language/integration nexus and guides you through the apparent complexities of the relevant concepts and terminology.

Kulturschock (Culture shock)

“Culture shock” is the feeling of disorientation, helplessness and frustration which a person may experience when encountering a different culture, particularly as a result of migrating to another country. The term is also used to describe the entire process of absorbing and adjusting to different social norms and behavioural rules.

Another concept used as an alternative to “culture shock” is “acculturative stress”, which is perhaps a more appropriate term in the context of migration. This expresses the notion that the feeling of alienation may be long-lasting and that the stress of living in a different country can manifest as severe psychosomatic and social difficulties.

The most effective countermeasure to culture shock and acculturative stress is a society in which ethnic diversity is promoted and respected (see Diversity).



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