believe that the process of acculturation and development of an intercultural
personality can be organized into three distinct phases, of stress, adaptation, and growth.
experiences of cultural variation inevitably harbor stress in an individual- a sort
of psychological conflict rooted in the resistance to cultural changes and the
desire to retain the old customs and traditions. On the contrary, there is an
innate desire to alter our behavior, in harmony with our new surroundings. In
effect it is a constant struggle between the push of the new culture and the
pull of the usual culture. These experiences eventually manifest feelings of
intense uncertainty, confusion and anxiety.
second phase, adaptation is multifaceted. There is a distinction between
psychological and socio-cultural adaptation. While psychological adaptation
largely involves an individual’s psychological and physical well being,
socio-cultural adaptation deals with an individual’s ability to manage daily
life in the realms of the new culture. I realized that communication and
understanding across cultures is inherently stressful. These experiences of
interactional incongruity and the accompanying stress in turn, gave me an
impetus for new leaning opportunities and adapting to a positive shift in my
inherent cultural habits. These adaptations have allowed me to emerge as a more
understanding member of a multicultural society. Making smart but necessary
compromises & having clear and effective communication with people of
varying cultures is the primary step. Reading and leaning about different
cultures helps in pre empting situations while dealing with people. This also
helps in avoiding conflicts in such a multi-cultural society.
this perceptual refinement is the increasing capacity to participate in the
emotional and aesthetic experiences of cultural strangers, and the
resourcefulness with which to make appropriate behavioral adjustments to
specific situations and to manage them effectively and creatively. Emerging
from these experiences of cross cultural interaction is an intercultural
identity, a self-orientation that is richer in knowledge and wisdom.