Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Book Review: Cultural Rehydration: A Layman’s Guide to Dealing with Culture Shock

Cultural Rehydration: A Layman’s Guide to Dealing with Culture Shock by Gerald W. Anthony, PhD begins with introduction of Cultural paralysis, better called cultural dehydration, as a condition experienced by expatriates that causes them to feel weak and unable to function in a foreign environment. Author points out that the stress of adapting to a new environment is often the one that leads to cultural dehydration.  In the three chapters to follow, the whole process of cultural dehydration and techniques that will serve as hydrators in such eventuality, are discussed. And the author begins by a comparison with the real problem of dehydration. If we do not understand that our bodies need water, how can we solve the problem of dehydration?  The same is true for cultural dehydration.  If we do not first understand the natural processes that our minds and bodies go through when we enter foreign cultures, then it will be hard to remedy cultural dehydration and allow cultural rehydration. Thereafter he explains the cultural adaptation process, every one undergoes in a foreign country, dividing the process into different stages.  Preparing oneself to meet the challenges is then discussed as an assembly of twelve pre-departure factors. Once you reach the country of destination, how these steps of adaptation are put to use is discussed as a seven-step process called Cultural Rehydration Therapy. At frequent places, the author has provided check points to establish satisfactory progress, making, monitoring the effective use of his techniques quite easy.