Culture Shock and Multiculturalism: Reclaiming a Useful Model from the Religious Realm

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9781443835268: Culture Shock and Multiculturalism: Reclaiming a Useful Model from the Religious Realm

It used to be widely accepted amongst anthropologists that when they did 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 at 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.

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About the Author:

Edward Dutton is Docent (Reader) in the Anthropology of Religion at Oulu University in Finland. He has a degree in Theology from Durham University and a PhD in Religious Studies from Aberdeen University. 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. He enjoys Indian cooking.


"Dr Dutton has a deep knowledge of his field. Methodically, he is extremely thorough and aware of all possible pitfalls, always seeking a theoretical perspective from which he can analyze. In Culture Shock and Multiculturalism, his perspective, examining culture shock through the prism of religion, is surprising and he actualizes a clear scholarly problem. The book examines questions which are extremely important to all those conducting scientific work. For example, what happens to scholars who produce science outside the fashionable in-group that dominates contemporary anthropological scholarship? This book will provoke a crucial debate about the influence of postmodern scholarship in anthropology as well as providing a highly original analysis of an a la mode concept." - Prof. Ulrika Wolf-Knuts, Abo Akademi, Finland "In Culture Shock and Multiculturalism, Edward Dutton develops a thoroughly plausible and mutually consistent and interlocking set of explanations and analyses to account for the 'shocks' and dislocations engendered by Multiculturalism. He makes a compelling case for the efficaciousness of stereotypes in human survival and even has the temerity to point out that the view that all cultures are equal and its supporting ideological infrastructure are somewhat vulnerable to scientific, empirical investigation. Truly shocking!" - Dr Frank Ellis, Author of Political Correctness and the Theoretical Struggle "Dr. Dutton's aim is to rescue the concept of 'culture shock' from its long association with the religious views of a person being shocked [...] There is much in this volume that would benefit all students of man's history and behaviour, not just anthropologists." - E.B., 'Contemporary Review', 294:1707 (2012), 513-514. 'If you enjoy spotting the dishonesties, inconsistencies, and other irrationalities in what passes for thought these days, you'll appreciate Edward Dutton's new book. In Culture Shock and Multiculturalism Dutton presents a defence of rationality and, relatedly, a call for truth ... As an allegory for much that is wrong with anthropology (Culture Shock) is a salutary lesson and one that extends far beyond academic anthropology.' - Dr A. R. Kneen, Cambridge University, Quarterly Review.

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