Three Possible Outcomes of Culture Shock

From Akita Wiki

The Constructive Marginal

This is a big word, but you break it down and it isn't so scary. The word "Constructive" simply means that your actions and opinions benefit yourself and others around you. The word "Marginal" means that your actions, while they may be beneficial to yourself and others around you, are not "normal" actions and opinions found within the culture where you live.

Constructive marginals has learned to constructively let their lives intersect the culture in which they live where one's own interests and values are common with the interests and values of members of the host culture. Constructive marginals have also learned to go their own way and to do their own thing in those cases where their own interests conflict with the interests and values of members of the host culture.


People in this state do what is called "Going Native," they learn to function entirely within the bounds of the host culture.


People in this state find that there is something fundamental about the way the host culture operates that causes them to be unable to function. People who reject the host culture tend to retreat from any experience involving the culture. The most self-destructive manifestation of rejection occurs when a person retreats into themselves and loses contact with the outside world, home culture and host culture. If you feel that this is happening to you, please consider calling one of the help lines listed below.

The most constructive manifestation of rejection is to leave the host culture and go home. This may sound like harsh advice, but if you are unhappy in the host culture, it is important to remember that there are other options.

The middle ground between retreating in on oneself and going home is to establish a life in the expat community.

See also