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Beyond cultural boundary: An empirical study of the third culture theory
Unformatted Document Text:  Third Culture Theory 8 Third Culture and Culture Shock According to Gudykunst and Kim (1984), “the culture of our youth provides a common pattern for our cognitive, affective, and behavioral structures and processes, so that persons belonging to the same culture tend to have a similar understanding of, and similar responses to, reality” (p. 225). Accordingly, encountering strangers from different cultures can bring surprises and stresses attributable to the cultural gap. Hofestede (1991) also emphasized that encountering a stranger’s culture may even arouse “unintended conflicts” (p. 208). As people encounter a new culture, language differences, as well as physical and psychological dimensions different their own culture, make them feel stressful (Berry, Kim, & Boski, 1987). This stress prompts them to adjust and adapt to the new culture to survive and work. According to Kim and Ruben (1988; Kim, 1988), “stress”  often called “culture shock”  occurs when an individual whose images, maps, and rule structure developed in one cultural milieu is forced to contend with a second distinctive cultural and sub-cultural milieu, to which his or her maps, images, and rule structures are not well adapted. Based on third culture theory, the stress caused by intercultural interactions will be lessened as the third culture building proceeds. The third culture is a negotiated and harmonized new area in which individuals from two different cultures can communicate beyond their original cultures. The cultural common ground the individuals share can reduce their various stresses from culture shock when they interact with intercultural partners.

Authors: Lee, Suman.
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Third Culture Theory
8
Third Culture and Culture Shock
According to Gudykunst and Kim (1984), “the culture of our youth provides a
common pattern for our cognitive, affective, and behavioral structures and processes, so
that persons belonging to the same culture tend to have a similar understanding of, and
similar responses to, reality” (p. 225). Accordingly, encountering strangers from different
cultures can bring surprises and stresses attributable to the cultural gap. Hofestede (1991)
also emphasized that encountering a stranger’s culture may even arouse “unintended
conflicts” (p. 208).
As people encounter a new culture, language differences, as well as physical and
psychological dimensions different their own culture, make them feel stressful (Berry,
Kim, & Boski, 1987). This stress prompts them to adjust and adapt to the new culture to
survive and work.
According to Kim and Ruben (1988; Kim, 1988), “stress”
often called “culture
shock”
occurs when an individual whose images, maps, and rule structure developed in
one cultural milieu is forced to contend with a second distinctive cultural and sub-cultural
milieu, to which his or her maps, images, and rule structures are not well adapted.
Based on third culture theory, the stress caused by intercultural interactions will
be lessened as the third culture building proceeds.
The third culture is a negotiated and
harmonized new area in which individuals from two different cultures can communicate
beyond their original cultures. The cultural common ground the individuals share can
reduce their various stresses from culture shock when they interact with intercultural
partners.


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