Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 10, December 2005

Hanne Tange

In a cultural No Manís Land Ė or, how long does culture shock last?


This essay is an attempt to combine theories of sojourner adaptation with the qualitative results of my field work among Scottish immigrants in Copenhagen. I argue that theories of acculturation often presuppose a limited time-frame; that the usefulness of Lysgaardís acculturation model may be questioned; and that companies lose valuable intercultural competence by recalling sojourners before they have completed their process of integration. Learning from practice, I argue that sojourners will change as a result of their stationing overseas; that the intercultural skills obtained by employees during their sojourn represent a valuable resource for international business; and that companies have an obligation to assist sojourners upon their return to their home culture.

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