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Cultural Adaptation

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By madinaelaman
Words 1228
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ESSAY
To what extent are you convinced by Tange’s (2005) position regarding cultural adaptation?
In the new global economy, the model of cultural acculturation proposed by Hanne Tange has become a central issue that concerns international business about sojourner adaptation into foreign society. Author points out that by recalling sojourners to their own country without completing the process of acculturation into the host culture will lead to the loss of obtained intercultural experience that is significant resource for profit of international business. The process of cultural integration is divided into three stages: the arrival in a new country, the two-year crisis and the intercultural phase. The purpose of this essay is to review recent research into multicultural business communication that has been presented by Hanne Tange in 2005, assistant professor in School of business.
The author’s aim is to argue Lysgaards U-curve model that has been conducted in 1995 in relevant field among Norwegian Fulbright students in the United States of America, that has been most cited in cultural adjustment researches. The research examines the process of cultural integration of sojourners into the host country, particularly among seven Scottish immigrants in Copenhagen. The approach taken by Tange provides the opportunity to examine the immigrants’ experience in the host culture in a qualitative research framework. The methodology has a number of attractive and controversial features. First of all, the number of respondents that have been questioned in this survey certainly is not sufficient, so consequently presented data could be not clear and does not accurately evaluate the integration process. Secondly, the survey has been conducted among Scottish people who lived in Denmark for some period of time, so it can be argued that these findings cannot be extrapolated to all sojourners, it can be applied only for certain group of people, also taking into account the similarity of culture region between Scotland and Denmark. However, despite the limitation of size group, the questioned people were selected of different ages, sex, professional position and immigrant experience, compared to more than 200 students in Lysgaard’s research. The reason of choosing people with immigrant experience from 2 to 22 years can be identified by author’s distinction between immigrants and sojourners. Tange claims that this group of people face more difficulties, feel more pressure and stress in terms of adapting to the new culture, because they are conscious of permanent staying in this country. Indeed, immigrants understand that they should make diligent efforts in order to adapt to the new community and accelerate the process of integration. With reference to author’s initial assumptions she concluded that this process of integration into the host culture takes considerable amount of time, and that minimum required period of time of stationing workers abroad is roughly two or three years. If immigrants are getting used to the new culture for approximately two or three years, it can be inferred that sojourners would need longer time to adapt to the new country. Owing to the fact that sojourners do not expect their “new home” permanent, the conception that they leave new country in a short period of time will inhibit the process of acculturation. Thus, it can be deduced that sojourners will spend even more time than immigrants to gain precious intercultural competence for profit of business.
Furthermore, the key problem of used methodology in this research is that all collected data was not presented in a formal way, Tange’s method was based on verbal communication through note-taking. In fact, the methodology might not reflect the real picture of the sojourners’ experience and also she could miss the important points of respondents’ narratives. In addition to this, the absence of quotations is cause queries regarding to the methodology of this paper. Also, taking into account the fact of her own experience, as a sojourner, it seems to be that author without even considering might deliberately or not imposed her own point of view during the interview process that consequently affected to the final results. The evidence of this is given in the paper; she has mentioned that interviewees’ narratives were filtered by her as note-taker. In spite of this fact, it could be the case that unstructured methodology might provide surprising information that cannot be obtained by well-planned structure.
In stage 1 Tange has compared primary stage of sojourners experience with Lysgaard’s initial stage. Indeed, she has mentioned that sojourners find staying in a foreign country exciting and fascinating, they are willingly try to establish social networks, to meet with new people and to know more about new culture. Nevertheless, after a few period of time sojourners have a feeling of loneliness and homesickness, they are not confident in the new cultural environment. After the experiencing first stage in acculturation immigrants move to the next stage called “the two-year crisis”. The fascinating impression slightly fades away and replaced by daily routine, immigrants become get used to new society. In fact, author gives the evidence of that, respondents describe the crisis they have been faced with in different ways. The most interesting finding is that author believes that crisis takes place on the second year of staying in the host culture compared to approximately 6-8 months of Lysgaard’s model, but at the same time she argues that this time frame depends on personal conditions. Moreover, Tange suggested that the two-year crisis in some cases can cause the rejection of the new culture. A possible explanation for this finding may be related to author’s personal experience as a sojourner in Scotland between 1997 and 2000, it might be that she had experienced this crisis, during the second year of her intercultural encounter. According to the author, the feeling of frustration is gradually descends and it slightly disappears, but the feeling of culture shock cannot be completely eliminated. In model of acculturation Tange suggests the stage of interculturality, the condition when sojourners feel that they belong to both cultures: native and host, they create “a new identity”. It means that sojourners combine values, lifestyle, customs and behaviour from both cultures and adopt them. She claims that often immigrants even do not distinguish the differences and changes in behavioural patterns and cannot recognize “a new identity” until they return to their home country and face with deviations of both cultures. Author points out that process of acculturation is a lengthy and challenging process, and companies are responsible for assisting sojourners to adapt to the new culture until they return to their own culture.
Overall, this paper investigated Tange’s research regarding to cultural adaptation. In this investigation, the aim was to assess the effectiveness of proposed model of acculturation. Author’s main aim was to check the method of cultural adaptation proposed by Lysgaard’s, but ultimately she has presented her own complementary model of acculturation. It can be concluded that acceptable time of staying in host culture is approximately 2-3 years, and that companies should not return sojourners until they complete the process of adaptation into the host culture. However, the observed difference between Lysgaard’s and Tange’s in this study was not significant. The evidence from this essay suggests that methodology that was used in research a number of important limitations need to be considered, thus to improve approach, it would be more effective to combine qualitative and quantitative nature of data.

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