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Culture Shock and Multiculturalism

Reclaiming a Useful Model from the Religious Realm

Author(s): Edward Dutton

Book Description

It used to be widely accepted amongst anthropologists that when they conducted fieldwork with foreign cultures they experienced something called ‘culture shock.’ This book will argue that ‘culture shock’ is a useful model for understanding an important part of human experience. However, in its most widely-known form, the stage model, ‘culture shock’ has been heavily influenced by the same anti-science, latter-day religiosity that has become so influential more broadly: Multiculturalism.

This book will examine culture shock through the model of ‘religion.’ It will show how the most well-known model of culture shock – so popular amongst business consultants, expatriates, international students and travelers – has become a means of promoting and sustaining this replacement religion which includes everything from dogmatism and fervour to conversion experience. By so doing, it will aim both to better understand culture shock and to show how it can still be useful, if divorced from its implicitly religious dimensions, to broadly scientific scholars. It will also suggest how anthropology itself might be stripped of its ideological infiltration and returned to the realm of science.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-3526-8
ISBN-10: 1-4438-3526-9
Date of Publication: 01/02/2012
Pages / Size: 265 / A5
Price: £39.99


Edward Dutton is Docent (Reader) in the Anthropology of Religion at Oulu University in Finland. He has a degree in Theology from Durham University in England and a PhD in Religious Studies from Aberdeen University in Scotland. Dr Dutton’s previous works include 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 has also written for various newspapers and magazines including The Telegraph, the Fortean Times and the Contemporary Review.