Culture Shock in the Middle East

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According to the Hofstede`s five dimensions of national culture, society`s culture has a significant impact on the values of its members. These values on the other hand impact on the behavior and expectations of the members of a specific region/society (Deliner, 2014). When people migrate to a new region or country, however, they experience a culture clash as the new environment presents new values and behavioral approaches. Their expectations end up not being met while their actions are actions are sometimes responded to with an unexpected animosity. In a case where a coping strategy is not introduced, such people end up frustrated and unable to function optimally hence their productivity levels are reduced. In some cases, the individuals find it unable to cope with the new culture and end up returning home.

Culture shock, however, does not just happen but is rather as a result of a series of events referred to as the four stages of culture shock. To start with, the immigrant is hugely excited upon arrival (honeymoon stage) after which dissatisfaction kicks in (frustration stage) once the individual realizes that he/she is unable to do the most basic things such as communicating effectively. In a case where this stage is not adequately handled, then the immigration ends up becoming a failure. If sufficient guidance and help are offered, however, an adjustment stage follows where one slows starts gaining a sense of direction and feeling more comfortable with the environment around (Dutton, 2011). Finally, an adaptation stage comes in where the immigrant finally accepts his/her stay in the new locality and gets accustomed to the happenings in the new environment.

The Middle East is a unique region with a strong Islam culture that differs from most regions of the world. Working as an immigrant healthcare professional in this region needs sufficient cross-cultural orientation especially due to the unique restrictions in this culture. Unlike in most regions of the world, almost everything in the Middle East is tied to religion. For nurses working as health care providers in this region, sufficient cross-cultural training is necessary owing to the fact that they interact with people on a daily basis. Apart from just learning the necessary communication skills required in the region, they also need to cope with specific mannerisms that are unique to this culture. With such mannerisms impacting on the standard way of doing simple things such as dressing and making decisions, it is more likely that insufficient training and orientation might affect the career developments of such individuals who have willingly decided to offer their services to the society (Dutton, 2011).

In this regard, this paper will research with the main aim of identifying the process that migrant workers in the health sector can be taken through to overcome the culture shock that the region presents effectively. This will be achieved by examining whether particular healthcare organizations offer culture adaptation training programs in addition to identifying the obstacles faced by workers migrating to different countries. The data obtained will then be used to identify the four stages of culture shock after which effective coping strategies will be identified for each stage.


Deliner A (2014), Cultural Dimensions: The Five-Dimensions-Model according to Geert Hofstede, GRIN Publishing pp56-78

Dutton E (2011) Culture shock and Multiculturalism: Reclaiming Useful Model from the Religious Realm, Cambridge Scholars Publishing pp34-67

January 19, 2024

Immigration Communication

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