Culture can be defined as that which we learn, rather than that which is biologically based. Culture encompasses political, economic, social, and religious structures and shared system of meaning. Despite the physical changes that all humans undergo in the course of their lives, our ideas about childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age are also socially constructed and related to our culture. For example, family structure varies among cultures and role expectations by age, gender, and birth order of children may vary significantly among families.
Acculturation refers to the socialization process by which immigrants gradually learn and adapt selected elements of the dominant culture. Acculturation should be viewed as a continuum - a dynamic, life-long process. Remember that acculturation is not a one-way process, but the dominant culture may also be changed through its interaction with immigrants.
This term refers to the ability of human service professionals to serve clients of a wide range of cultures effectively. As an emerging professional standard, precise definitions vary, but cultural competence is generally considered to require specific knowledge and skills as well as the personal traits (such as flexibility) and attitudes (such as tolerance) that facilitate success.
This term refers to the way the norms on one's own culture can block our perceptions of the norms and values of another culture.
Culture shock is the physical and emotional discomfort experienced by immigrants and other arrivals to a new social or cultural environment. Symptoms of culture shock include a profound sense of not feeling at home or comfortable, uncertainty about the meaning of social cues, insecurity in the new environment, and anxiety about the future. People experiencing culture shock may exhibit a variety of psychological and psychosomatic symptoms, such as worry, depression, inability to sleep, obsessions, headaches, or other pain.
Who to Contact
- Ms. Malgorzata Booth