Culture shock


Cultural invasion may be followed by the inability to adapt to a different cultural experience. The result is withdrawal, apathy and social disintegration, and in the case of certain primitive tribes it may be lead to their extinction. Culture shock may occur among immigrants, rendering them susceptible to exploitation and creating divisions and conflicts. Culture shock may also affect nations as a result of economic and cultural invasion leaving them dependent, in debt, and susceptible to foreign political influence.

Reverse culture shock is the experience of many expatriate workers. These returning business people, international agency workers and missionaries find it difficult to work with fellow countrymen. Their children often know nothing of their parent's home country, school is difficult, friendships are hard to make, and they are treated differently by teachers, classmates and neighbours. Wives must adjust to smaller houses, no servants, and different systems of shopping. Working expatriates find different working conditions.


Culture shock is a widespread phenomenon. The social disintegration which it entails may cause alcoholism, drug dependence, suicide, promiscuity, crime and violence. In the inability of social groups to adapt economically it may cause debt, slavery, exploitation, general dependence, and as a result poverty, malnutrition and disease. It occurs in this way particularly with indigenous populations. Underprivileged immigrants into industrialized countries may similarly suffer. Other immigrants and sophisticated societies suffering from cultural invasion show more complicated psychological problems as a result, and the situation with nations is perhaps the most complex of all.

Broader Problems:
Socioeconomic stress
Culture Culture
Psychology Stress
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality Education
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST