Social challenges of living in a foreign culture

Innledning
Today the migration flow around the world is huge. United nations stated that the number of international migrants – people living in a country other than where they were born, reached 244 million in 2015 . Migration can have huge positive impact for the economy, job market and the social aspect.

But, with the positive often comes the negative. Integration can lead to different challenges that can be a strain on the individual. In this task I will discuss some of the challenges of living in a foreign culture using examples from the extract “sorry to disturb” and the movie “east is east”.

Utdrag
“Sorry to disturb” ‘written by the British author Hilary Mantel on her experiences of living in Saudi Arabia is a good example of culture shock.

Hillary Mantel wrote about the incidents where she would dust the floor outside her block apartment and her male Saudi neighbour would come down from the first floor on his way out to his car and he would step over her brushstrokes without looking at her – he was according her invisibility, as a mark of respect to another man’s wife.

From Mantels perspective this type of behaviour can be perceived as rude and that the male neighbour was signalising that she was worth less than himself. But then from his point of view he was respecting another mans wife by ignoring her.

Also she writes in “sorry to disturb” that she had no friends, and there was not much to do for a fun time. We get this vibe that Mantel can’t figure out her place and that it is hard for her to integrate.

This often occurs to immigrants. Culture shock is explained as the feeling of disorientation experienced when a person is exposed to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes .

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