The U-curve model for adjustment was first introduced by a Norwegian sociologist Sverre Lysgaard in , and it has been developed by other scholars during. by Lysgaard in ; more recently, however, its applicability to research in the The U-curve model was first described by Lysgaard in his study of. “Adjustment in a foreign society: Norwegian Fullbright grantees visiting the United States.” by Sverre Lysgaard, International Social.

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To my mind, this makes it presumptuous to talk about major transformations during the first couple lygaard years overseas, although I accept the possibility of minor changes.

My favourite example, picked up by my family, was “envelut” — a personal blend of the English “envelope” and the Danish term “konvolut”. At the macro-level, i.

The U-curve model for adjustment was first introduced by a Norwegian sociologist Sverre Lysgaard inand it has been developed by other scholars during the following decades e. The two-year crisis lysgawrd from the unanswered questions that have been allowed to accumulate during the first part of the encounter. Scholars refer to this with a W-curve model, where the second curve is meant to describe the re-entry shock and readjustment.

The arrival stage contains two dimensions: They illustrate language adjustment, changed behaviours and the emergence of a new set of ljsgaard. This is a critical point where the shock can develop into a rejection of the host culture or acceptance and adjustment to new surroundings.

Lysgaard’s U-Curve of Cultural Adjustment by Mandi Lindner on Prezi

Yet I believe that Euro-Europeans are comparable to other sojourners in terms of cultural adaptation. In other words, both parties may have used the lysgaadd to define national culture — whether Scottish or Danish — through the eyes of the Other. In “Adjustment in a foreign society”, Lysgaard describes his model of cultural adaptation in the following words:.

This process is sometimes even more difficult, since people don’t expect any culture shock when returning home. After adapting to a new culture, it is actually natural to feel disintegration with home culture.


Immigrants expect a permanent stay in their new culture, lysggaard increases their sense of uncertainty. As I have no recordings, I am unable to quote my interviewees, which means that all references are implicit and indirect. They are highly significant to the present discussion, however, because they reveal that no cultural values are static.

In a cultural No Man’s Land – or, how long does culture shock last

W-curve When migrants return to their home countries, they often have to go through a similar kind of adaptation process. With regard to methodology I recommend the use of a qualitative approach in spite the weaknesses identified above. Indeed any issue arising from structural factors may be an advantage, Maureen Guirdham observes, because it postpones an inevitable culture shock: This essay is partly inspired by my wish to combine theory with practice, and partly an attempt to show how research into intercultural business communication may benefit from qualitative methods developed in the neighbouring fields of anthropology and ethnology.

Ideally we like to think of interviews in terms of a dialogue between the interviewer, who is open-minded about the experiences conveyed, and the interviewee, who narrates the stories as they occurred — lysgard what he or she would have liked to happen, or what he or she thinks the interviewer would want to hear about a given situation.

The most common change of values for the Scots is the adoption of a Danish view on gender relations. My final considerations regarding methodology concern the interview process itself. This linguistic compartmentalisation seems to have been strengthened in the course of my three-year stay.

I have divided my discussion into three parts: The structure of such groupings may be formal or informal and can reflect values other than national ones. Danes express themselves in a more direct, independent way, and living in Denmark, Mary continues, has made 11955 a stronger person.

In a cultural No Man’s Land –

Some of its manifestations, for instance the “mixed forms” discussed below, resemble language usage by learners in the early stages of language acquisition. A similar situation is described by Fiona, who had been in Copenhagen for two years when I met her.


When I started collecting my information, I lysagard planned to impose a super-structure on my data, but as my interviewees kept returning to similar themes, I ended up with this model.

Yet it is my intention to lsgaard a conceptual framework by comparing my reflections to relevant theories of intercultural communication. First of all, I see lysgazrd main difference between sojourners and immigrants as a difference in terms of the intensity of the intercultural encounter rather than a difference in the nature of the experience itself.

All interviewees agree that they knew very little lysggaard the country before their arrival, and that they might as well have lysgaarrd up somewhere else. In order to cope lysgaars this position, which in a way excludes them from a full membership of their native as well as their host culture, the Scots construct a new identity. They belong to the group of “Euro-Europeans” defined by the Danish anthropologists Anne Knudsen and Lizanne Wilken as “the employees of international companies, supernational organisations and news agencies, exchange students, sojourning business men and women, researchers working in the European research institutions — and anyone else, who happens to live and work in another European country” Knudsen and Wilken My qualitative method limits the number of interviewees that can be included, and, as I approach my data as individual narratives rather than general accounts of national character, I do not consider the size of my group a problem.

In return the company obtains an employee with strong intercultural skills, which will be useful in relation to present and future international activities.

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