Towards a Scientific Model of Culture Shock and Intercultural Communication

Edward Dutton (1)
(1) Department of Anthropology, Oulu University, Finland , Finland


This article seeks to make an original contribution to the study of intercultural communication by examining the ‘culture shock’ model by means of scientific theories of behaviour. It will argue that although culture chock is built on both cultural determinist and cultural relativist foundations, it is broadly empirically accurate. However, it needs to be rendered consilient. Applying Genetic Similarity Theory to it renders it consilient and, indeed, it parsimoniously explains an important stage of culture shock. Culture shock is also found to be congruous with scientific behaviourist research. In engaging with culture shock as it does, the article aims to render intercultural communication more directly germane to those beyond the discipline.

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Edward Dutton
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Author Biography

Edward Dutton, Department of Anthropology, Oulu University, Finland

Edward Dutton is Adjunct Professor of the Anthropology of Religion at Oulu University in Finland He holds a BA in Theology from Durham University and a PhD in Religious Studies from Aberdeen University . He is the author of The Finnuit: Finnish Culture and the Religion of Uniqueness (Akademiai Kiado, 2009) and Meeting Jesus at University: Rites of Passage and Student Evangelicals (Ashgate, 2008). He is currently writing a book about Culture Shock.

Dutton, E. (2011). Towards a Scientific Model of Culture Shock and Intercultural Communication. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 11(3), 1–15.

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