Cultural adaptation

Course information




Cultural adaptation



Gábor Molnár Dr.



Course code




Petőfi Building, 3rd floor, Room XI



Thursday 6-7.30


Course description



Short description

Experiencing a second culture often results in an educational benefit, since such exposure broadens one's perspective, promotes personality growth, and self-development. It also provides insight into the culture of origin through a contrast with other worldviews. Moreover, students have said very often that exchange programs can provide a welcome change from the tedium of routine activities. It is, therefore, good idea to travel abroad in search of that goal. Thirdly, a second-culture exposure results in an understanding between the peoples of the world. This is an aid to better international relationships and fewer inter-group frictions.

During the course we analyse the psychological aspects of these experiences.

The course is open only for Psychology student.



  • The new and the old concepts of culture
  • The experience of intercultural contact
  • The notion of "culture shock"
  • The concept of "role shock"
  • U-curve and the W-curve theory
  • Oberg’s stages of cultural adaptation
  • The role of language in other culture
  • Winkelman’s adaptation concepts
  • “The marginal man” of E. Stonequiste




Requirements to get the grade

Participation in presentations and consultations. Knowledge of compulsory literature. Successful test.


Reading list required

Furnham, A. and L. Tresize, 1983. The mental health of foreign students. Social Science and Medicine 17, 365-370.


Geertz C.(1987).: La interpretación de las culturas, Gedisa Editorial, Barcelona.


Malinowski, B. (1984).: Una teoría científica de la cultura, SARPE, Madrid.


Oberg, K. (1960).: Culture shock: Adjustments to new cultural environments, In.: Practical Antropology, 4. pp. 177 – 182.


Stonequist E. (1937).: The Marginal Man, Russell – Russell, INC, New York.


Winkelman, M. (1994).: Cultural Shock and Adaptation, In.: Journal of Counseling and Development, November/December 1994, Volume 73.


Zheng, X., & Berry, J. W. (1991). Psychological adaptation of Chinese sojourners in Canada. International Journal of Psychology, 26(4), 451-470.   






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