For Academic Purpose:
“SUPPOSED CASE STUDY: Bawuah and Akoto are African students studying abroad in London. When they are introduced to their new host families, the families kiss them on both cheeks and lips, Akoto pulls back in surprise. Where he is from, unless they are romantically involved, men do not kiss one another. As a student of sociology, analyze the behaviour of Akoto from the sociological point of view”.
It must be noted that sociology as the study of society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life has made modelling and adjustment of one’s way of life into new environs more obvious. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order and social change.
A careful look at the scenario in the question would point vividly to the issue of cultural shock. What then is cultural shock and how does it unfold?
Culture shock is an experience a person may have when one moves to a cultural environment which is so different from one’s own; it is also the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country, a move between social environments, or simply transition to another type of life. (Macionis, John, and Linda Gerber, 2010).
Akoto’s stay in the African vicinity taught him that no matter the gender of a particular being, he or she does not go too extreme when exchanging pleasantries. In the African cultural context, parents hardly shake hands with their wards and not to talk of mere hugging. So those moves from the host family kissing him on both cheeks and lips is quite confusing and astonishing at the same time.
The subsequent reaction or the responsible stimulus that was triggered in the sub consciousness of Akoto which led to his withdrawal from the host family’s embrace was justified per his prior socialization experience. This is because he’s not used to that particular experience and for the idea of going through that for the first time makes it “cultural shock”.
One of the most common causes of culture shock involves individuals in a foreign environment. Culture shock can be described as consisting of at least one of four distinct phases: honeymoon, negotiation, adjustment, and adaptation. (https://www.princeton.edu/oip/practical-matters/Cultural-Adjustment).
In this case study, it falls under adjustment and adaptation. This goes on to suggest that Akoto will have to recondition himself to suit his new environment with the new host family.
Barna, LaRay M. “HOW CULTURE SHOCK AFFECTS COMMUNICATION.” Communication 5.1 (n.d.): 1-18. SocINDEX with Full Text. EBSCO.29 Sept.2009.web.
Macionis, John, and Linda Gerber. “Chapter 3 – Culture.” Sociology. 7th edition ed. Toronto, ON: Pearson Canada Inc., 2010. 54. Print.
Oberg, Kalervo (1960): “Cultural shock: Adjustment to new cultural environments, Practical Anthropology . pp. 177–182 .
Oberg, Kalervo. “Culture Shock and the problem of Adjustment to the new cultural environments”. World Wide Classroom Consortium for International Education & Multicultural studies. Extracted _ 29 Sept 2009.
Pedersen, Paul (1995). The Five Stages of Culture Shock: Critical Incidents Around the World. Contributions in psychology, no. 25. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.