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Cultural adaptation in Poland, which stages are you falling into?

zhenzhen 4 | 27  
27 Nov 2007 /  #1
The idea of posting such a topic is comes from my recent thoughts. I am Chinese and grew up in Chinese culture background; I do deeply love my culture and also like enjoying different culture especially since I live in Poland. There are people from different countries in Polish Forum, from the posts I have read during few months, I realize that the cultural difference sometimes may bring misunderstanding and even conflicts. I think this is also one reason why there are sometimes many offensive words appear which toward other culture or nations they are not involved.

I am interested in philosophy and culture, I had studied philosophy in China and got my BA, soon I will finish my MA in Poland. I just post some basic things about culture adaptation here, if someone feels it is interesting and you can have a look. I also would like to make friends with those who are interested about philosophy and culture (you always can send me message from PF).It’s my pleasure to discuss sth about philosophy and culture.

Here are:

Cultural adaptation is not off/on phenomenon. Like many other human abilities it develops through stages. A good form of developmental thinking can be illustrated with the concept of cultural shock. This concept gained complexity as it was described in terms of U or W curves extending through time.

Ethnocentric and Ethno relative Stages are divided into 6 parts: Denial, Defense, Minimization, Acceptance, Adaptation, and Integration.

People at the denial stage are unable to make cultural differences in complex way. Either they do not perceive cultural differences at all or they can conceive only of broad categories such as ‘foreigner’, ‘people of colour’, ‘Africans’.

People at the defence stage have more ability to construe cultural difference, but they attach negative evaluations to it.

People in defence consider themselves under siege. Their defence is characterised by the polarization of a denigrated ‘them’ with a superior ‘us’.

People at the minimization stage try to bury cultural differences within already-familiar categories of physical and philosophical similarity. They recognize and accept superficial cultural differences such as eating custom but they assume that deep down all people are essentially the same-just human. As a consequence of this assumption, certain cultural values may be mistaken for universal desires.

People at the acceptance stage enjoy recognizing and exploring cultural differences. They are aware that they are cultural beings. They are fairly tolerant of ambiguity and are comfortable knowing there is no right answer (although they are better answers for particular contexts).

At this stage, people have moved beyond ethnocentric rules for behaviour and may not yet have developed ethnorelative principles for taking action.

People at the adaptation stage use knowledge about their own and others’ cultures to shift into a different cultural frame of reference. Most people at this stage are intercultural sensitive; they can apply skills of empathy and adaptation of behaviour to any cultural context.

Sometimes they are good at shifting between the two cultures they have internalized but they cannot apply the same skills to other culture (or groups they do not consider cultures-e.g.-gay).

People at the integration stage are attempting to reconcile the sometimes-conflicting cultural frames that they have internalized. They are inclined to interpret and evaluate behaviour from a variety of cultural frames of reference, so that there is never a single right or wrong answer. People in integration face the unending task of guiding their own behaviour along the ethical lines that they themselves have created.

According to my small investigation of my polish friends and friends from other countries, Majority of my friends fall into the ACCEPTANCE and MINIMIZATION stage, and then ADAPTATION. But the result may be different if make an investigation among common society.

So, which stages are you falling into?
Piorun - | 658  
27 Nov 2007 /  #2
None of the above
I myself would not be so quick to categorize people. From an academic point of view it is convenient way to perceive and judge people’s behavior. However there is a lot more to human behavior then the standard academic definition. To truly understand someone and his true outlook on other culture is to spend a lot of hours in conversation with that person. For what you perceive to be inability to tolerate custom of a foreign culture might just be the taboo in his own culture. So if I do not participate in some ceremony of a foreign culture does not necessarily mean that I’m not willing to tolerate that culture. What is acceptable in one society as an acceptable behavior is not necessarily in mine. This might be because of a moral or even religious upbringing or belief. Therefore you would automatically categorize me on a lower level on your scale which might not be true. That’s just a tip of the iceberg. So I highly recommend spending a lot of time on conversation, especially if you come from two totally alien societies.

What I mean is that the cultural differences are great. They should be celebrated, not categorized.

Someone in academia comes up with this stupid theory, and puts integration at the highest level therefore it is good. And we as human race should just evolve to that highest level. I for one do not agree with that premise. In my opinion diversity is good.
plk123 8 | 4,149  
27 Nov 2007 /  #3


looks like you're moving up. lol
Piorun - | 658  
27 Nov 2007 /  #4
Good one
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
27 Nov 2007 /  #5
looks like you're moving up. lol

lol - i was going to make the same point but couldnt be bothered
plk123 8 | 4,149  
27 Nov 2007 /  #6
Like many other human abilities it develops through stages.

are you sure about that these are stages? personally i see the first 3 categories diverging from the latter 3. from my observations humans don't seem to really go through these, maybe hover in an area?.. hmm... or is it predisposition? nature/nurture? that puts one in a category?
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
27 Nov 2007 /  #7
i have been thru all these stages in different countries - with some its been easier to move forward than others - poland was bl**dy difficult to get anywhere near acceptance when i first lived there, so was spain and italy

im sure i posted this list last year
Dice 15 | 452  
27 Nov 2007 /  #8
Nî hâo, Zhenzhen.
This is a very interesting subject. Here is my favorite level of cultural adaptation: denial.
I especially love when someone refuses to learn the new language and speaks to people from other cultures in his/her own language. If there is a trouble understanding, he/she starts talking... louder! Later they are simply yelling, frustrated that people they are conversing with are sooo stupid. LOL
El Gato 4 | 351  
27 Nov 2007 /  #9

Sounds like me
southern 75 | 7,096  
27 Nov 2007 /  #10
I certainly fall into integration.
plk123 8 | 4,149  
27 Nov 2007 /  #11
i have been thru all these stages in different countries

hmm.. interesting.. my experience hasn't been so. i am thinking maybe you really mean acceptance of your presence by others though... or assimilation/integration?

did you always start at denial and then move up or has it been unique beginning (from first impression perhaps) in each instance?

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