After Australia, French without France
Chapter One - Background to the Research: A Brief Review of Literature 23
Chapter One Background to the Research: A Brief Review of Literature Cross-Cultural Encounters In order to understand sojourners, one needs to examine what happens when they adapt to a foreign environment and when they return home. It is therefore useful to provide a brief critical review of literature from diverse disciplinary fields subsumed under the banner of cross- cultural encounters, focusing on the salient themes that are fund- amental for the understanding of this group of travellers. Further reference to the substantive themes will be made in subsequent chapters. An understanding of these interrelated themes is essential because the processes of acculturation of academic sojourners to a foreign country and their ensuing repatriation have enormous impact on issues which relate to the transformation of their cultural identity, their interpersonal relationships abroad and upon their return home, their personalities and outlook on life and their future direction and career choices. The dynamics of cross-cultural adaptation imply a complex process with multi-disciplinary, multi-dimensional and multi-societal approaches that contribute to our understanding of how individuals born and raised in one culture adjust their life patterns to a foreign one (Kim, 2001; Ward et al., 2001). Given the complexities of former and current conceptualisations across disciplines such as psychology, anth- ropology and social and behavioural sciences, this book is oriented primarily towards an educational and sociocultural perspective. The following substantive themes underpin my framework: the social psychological phenomena of ‘Culture Shock’ and ‘Reverse Culture Shock’, and ‘Cultural Identity Issues’. Other areas of research subsumed...
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