culture shock(redirected from a culture shock)
A sudden feeling of confusion or surprise when confronted by an unfamiliar situation or cultural environment. It is often a huge culture shock for American women traveling to the Middle East when they are expected to wear head scarves and be accompanied by a man at all times.
A state of confusion and anxiety experienced by someone upon encountering an alien environment. For example, It's not just jet lag-it's the culture shock of being in a new country. This term was first used by social scientists to describe, for example, the experience of a person moving from the country to a big city. It is now used more loosely, as in the example. [Late 1930s]