Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 10, December 2005

Hanne Tange

In a cultural No Manís Land Ė or, how long does culture shock last?

Abstract

This essay is an attempt to combine theories of sojourner adaptation with the qualitative results of my field work among Scottish immigrants in Copenhagen. I argue that theories of acculturation often presuppose a limited time-frame; that the usefulness of Lysgaardís acculturation model may be questioned; and that companies lose valuable intercultural competence by recalling sojourners before they have completed their process of integration. Learning from practice, I argue that sojourners will change as a result of their stationing overseas; that the intercultural skills obtained by employees during their sojourn represent a valuable resource for international business; and that companies have an obligation to assist sojourners upon their return to their home culture.


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