Publication Date

1999

Abstract

This study sought to find out what public perception of culture shock and those who experience it might be by examining how culture shock is portrayed in the medium of motion pictures. Research Questions: Can a model of culture shock progression be found in the way culture shock is presented in motion pictures? How would such a model compare with existing models of culture shock? What conclusions could then be drawn from any discrepancies between these two models about public understanding of culture shock? Methods: Primary method of data collection was through observation of 26 motion pictures and content analysis of observation notes. The pattern of culture shock was then compared to Robert Kohls' culture shock model for discrepancies. Other aspects of movie culture shock that contrasted sharply with accepted research found within the literature review were also noted. Conclusions: Culture shock in the movies differs from social research on the topic. It presents a clearer, more easily defined process that leads to personal transformation of those who experience it. This leads to speculation about existing models of culture shock that exclude such transformation.

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