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ERIC Number: ED455049
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Orienting New Professionals to Small Isolated Communities.
Gougeon, Thomas D.
Small communities require the services of professionals such as doctors and teachers, but most professionals are trained in metropolitan areas. Urban-trained professionals are seldom prepared for the social and cultural differences that confront them when they move to rural communities. Such newcomers frequently experience culture shock--the stress brought on by unfamiliarity with a new social or cultural context and the inability to predict other people's reactions in the new context. Several sociological models relevant to culture shock are reviewed. These include Tonnies' concept of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft relationships; Durkheim's idea of mechanical versus organic solidarity; and Dillman's notion that community relations are influenced by community size, stability, homogeneity, and overlapping institutional memberships. These latter variables influence many rural-urban differences in social dynamics, including differences in enactment of social norms, in "initiating roles," and in the nature of primary relationships and mutual obligations. Professionals relocating to a small isolated community need to consider the implications of living in a Gemeinschaft context. Ten strategies are listed that will help any person through the stages of culture shock, followed by additional suggestions related to professional isolation, professional status, and self-concept. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A