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Spirit Catches Book Report

… The Lees become very angry, and rightfully so, even if the Lees exhibit prejudice against intermarriage. Lia Lee is placed in a second foster care situation, which works out much better. The new foster family with Dee Korda proves effective for the right reasons. There is an attempt at cross-cultural communication and understanding. Korda tries to learn about Hmong culture to a degree the health care team failed to do. Interestingly, placement with the foster care did not improve Lia Lee's health, which only highlights the fact that it is more important to retain cultural and familial continuity than it is to take medications. Lia Lee is forced to take her medication when she is in foster care, but the medication has no bearing on…. [read more]

Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Essay

… Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

The Lee family came to the United States from Houaysouy, Laos which is located in Southeast Asia. After the Vietnam War, the country became overrun with communist forces that set out to punish the Hmong due to their support of the United States during the war. The Hmong soon found themselves enemies of the state. Hmong were forced to assent to the wishes of the new regime or suffer severe consequences including death, separation of family, and ruins to their village. Hmong were expected to assimilate and, by doing so, were no longer allowed to practice their rituals or speak their language.

In 1976 the Lees made their first attempt to escape to Thailand, but they were captured…. [read more]

Spirit Catches You the Makeup Essay

… Spirit Catches You

The makeup of the world is undergoing a major change in demographics. In the next twenty to thirty years, the American population will be significantly different, with the number Hispanics and Asians growing at a much faster pace than the African-Americans and white, Anglo Saxon. The white population accounted for about 18% of the U.S. population increase in the years 2000 to 2004, but the Hispanics make up 14% of the population and nearly one half of the increase during these four years. Similarly, between these same years, African and Asian-Americans added approximately 29% to the American population increase, but the Asian immigration contributed a much greater proportion of population expansion. Despite this, America continues to lag behind in its preparation for…. [read more]

Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Term Paper

… Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Anne Fadiman tells the story of the effects of culture clash in medical care as she tells the story of Lia Lee and her medical treatment. The Hmong are an old and strong culture from Laos. They have fiercely defended their culture and their ways whether invaded by another country or living among people of a different culture. When they began moving to the United States, they brought their passionately strong feelings about their culture and beliefs with them. Among the Hmong, "the spirit catches you and you fall down" is how they explain epilepsy, the condition Lia Lee has.

The Hmong, a minority tribe of Laos, have extensive spiritual beliefs regarding physical health and…. [read more]

Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Term Paper

… ¶ … Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, teach us about how to face a complicated, troubling, and heart-rending set of circumstances and yet resist rushing to judgment, determining causes, finding fault, and solving problems before fully understanding how the primary participants see what is happening?

One of the most important things that the course readings teach is about forming judgment. Unless one is an officer of the law, one's judgment is really an opinion -- and, as such, is vulnerable to influence from one's own circumstances. Social anthropology acknowledges this effect on the conclusions drawn from situations.

Some of the circumstances that affect one's perception of the situation include one's own socioeconomic status. White American males are arguably some of the most powerful…. [read more]

Spirit Catches Book Report

… I was not surprised by the affection given, because the foster parents seemed like open minded and friendly people, and once they got a grasp on the situation at hand they knew that they needed to help care for this child and not make things any worse. In the end, even when getting regular medication, Lia still had several epileptic episodes, so no, I do not think that foster care helped anything except make Lia feel anxious about being away from her mother and family. The only benefit I can see is that the Lee family gained one more advocate for their situation.

Another advocate for the Lee family was Jeanine Hilt, who was their social worker up until her death in 1993, due to…. [read more]

Spirit Catches Essay

… Although Klee's family were ready to question this tradition in their overriding desire to help Lia, given their culture, they were ambivalent about having her honorable position removed. They also expected instant results being that they had experienced positive results from western medical treatment when in a Thai refugee camp, and found the Merced hospital efficacious in resolving the epileptic seizures. However, they found it difficult to understand that vaunted Western medicine could not cure the problem instantly and thoroughly, but, rather, that medication had to be applied on a regular process. If Lia's doctors were as competent as said, the parents could not understand why the problem could not resolved as rapidly and decisively as the antibiotics had eliminated the foot problem in the…. [read more]

Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Term Paper

… ¶ … Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman. Specifically, it will discuss the role of ethnocentrism in the book. "Ethnocentrism" is the belief that your culture is "better" or "superior" to other cultures and that cultural standards are universal. It is often the wedge that keeps people from many cultures from blending into a cohesive unit, and in "The Spirit Catches You," it is quite common to see how the Hmong, with their culture of beliefs and superstitions, and American doctors with their medicines and science would clash and never see eye-to-eye.

The Spirit Catches You" is the story of a Hmong family, the Lees, and their young daughter…. [read more]

Spirit Catches Term Paper

… However, in order to make this explanation, I might have to enlist the service of a translator. Certainly there are some non-profits or other sort of assistive organizations that could procure the services of a translator. Additionally, it might be necessary to ensure a translation of the medicine and the procedures that were needed to treat Lia -- the Westernized way -- on an ongoing basis in order to use these methods and curatives. Still, in my initial encounter with these people (which would be accompanied by a translator), I would convey the fact that I was cognizant of the fact that there are tremendous cultural differences between the family and their Westernized surroundings, and that I respected the family's culture and its traditions pertaining…. [read more]

Spirit Faidman, Anne. ) Term Paper

… The Lee girl's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, never saw themselves simply as the product of another tradition, of Western medicine, but of the representations of scientific truth. By viewing the situation not as one of translation but of right and wrong, no communication across cultures was possible.

However, this book is not so culturally relativist that it sees no wrongs and rights in the situation. The third dominant theme of the book is the nature of the injustice done to the young girl by the medical system in the name of modern medicine. When Lia's doctors saw her seizures as problem in her neurology, and prescribed anticonvulsants and her parents called her epileptic affliction "the spirit catches you and you fall…. [read more]

Spirit Helping Re-Imagining Fadiman's the Spirit Catches Case Study

… Spirit Helping

Re-Imagining Fadiman's the Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: Better Alternatives in Cultural Competency

In her book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman recounts the tale of the Lee family, Hmong immigrants from Laos now residing in Merced, California, and their daughter Lia's diagnosis and medical battle with epilepsy. The book's focus, however, is on the battle that occurs between the principles of Western medicine and the Western doctors encountered by the Lees and the Hmong cultural beliefs and practices still strongly adhered to by the family. Both of these contribute to the diminished care of Lia from both cultural perspectives, and Fadiman does an excellent job of fairly rendering the shortcomings of care and the misunderstandings that…. [read more]

Reaction and Learning From Fadiman's 1998 Book Term Paper

… Spirit Catches You

The world including the United States is becoming increasingly culturally diverse. Over the next couple of decades, the demographics in the U.S. will be changing significantly, with a major increase in the population numbers of Hispanic and Asians in relationship to the amount of black and white citizens. The white population accounted for only 18.5% of the country's population increase between 2000 and 2004. The U.S. Hispanic population accounted for 14% of the population, but 49% of the four-year population increase. Looking at the age gap, one can see this difference even more: Among whites, 15% are age 65 and over, for Hispanics, it is 5%. Between 2000 and 2004 both African-Americans and Asian-Americans contributed about 29% of U.S. population growth. For…. [read more]

Spirit Lifts Us as a Cultural Anthropologist Term Paper

… ¶ … Spirit Lifts Us

As a cultural anthropologist, this author has become very familiar with the Lao Hmong. They are a very small minority southeast Asian minority group that has lived in the United States since the close of the Vietnam War. They immigrated to the United States from northern Laos. They also live in China, Burma and Thailand. However, the Hmong in the United States come primarily from Laos. In that country, they were self-sufficient on farms where they had a very labor intensive lifestyle.

They encountered American culture first during their involvement in the Vietnam War. Throughout the 1960s, the American Central Intelligence Agency recruited the Hmong and trained and armed their soldiers to help patrol the Ho Chi Min Trail and…. [read more]

Cultures Work: That What Is Considered Abnormal Book Report

… ¶ … cultures work: that what is considered abnormal and almost impossible to achieve in one, is considered routine in another. For instance, the description of Foua's birthing procedure was amazing to me -- her strength and the ability that she could break off and continue with 'regular' life as before.

I especially appreciated the amount of knowledge and detail that went into description of the Lee's life. The author's apparent scholarliness and insight in their life as well as empathy is admirable.

I was confused however, by the extent to which relative ethics and beliefs can be taken. Dilemmas can sometimes be caused, as was shown in these chapters, by cultures professing their ways of life to be superior to another. There may be…. [read more]

Catch-22 in Joseph Heller's Book Term Paper

… Catch-22

In Joseph Heller's book Catch-22, the author has created a broad allegory about the insanity of war. This allegory is played out in many ways, but in particular by juxtaposing two characters opposite each other: Yossarian, a squadron commander who is repeatedly frustrated as terrible events repeatedly occur for surreal reasons; and Milo Minderbinder, who is immensely successful at war profiteering and gains great respect for these activities even when his actions are completely unconscionable.

Several themes are threaded throughout the book. Yossarian is obsessed with issues related to death. Minderbender emphasizes Yossarian's concerns about being mortal through his near-total lack of concern even though he it participating in a war. The absurdity of bureaucracy in war is demonstrated through both characters. Yossarian demonstrates…. [read more]

Fall Though in Paradise Lost Essay

… In fact, God had to fight a war to make them fall. "In Military prowess... lead forth my armed Saints ... And to the brow of Heav'n / Pursuing drive them [the rebellious angels] out from God and bliss / Into their place of punishment... which ready opens wide His fiery CHAOS to receive their fall." (book 6) If the fall were the sin itself, rather than the consequence, then they would not need to be pushed into Tartarus. One notices that likewise Adam and Eve would not have died naturally after eating the fruit, if God had not sent an angel to keep them away from the tree which had hithertofore given them eternal life. This is made clear in the verse where God…. [read more]

Culture and Counseling Term Paper

… Often, the patient will better understand the wishes of a community elder or shaman than the doctor, not because of a personal mistrust but because there is a huge cultural divide. When a Western doctor wants a patient to take medications or undergo surgery, the patient often refuses because of a lack of trust understanding, so community leaders can help bridge that gap. Doctors and nurses can phrase their wishes or prescriptions in words and language familiar to the patient and non-threatening. In some cases, the doctor-patient relationship can turn more poetic, more nuanced, when cross-cultural communication takes place. Fadiman offers one such instance, when social worker Francesca Farr made a house call to a Hmong family. Farr respected the Hmong traditions of speaking directly…. [read more]

Cultural and National Identity Term Paper

… The first example comes from an article titled, Labour of Love (Beatie, 2008). It tells the story of a transgender who is legally male and legally married to his wife, Nancy. During his sex reassignment surgeries he decided to maintain his reproductive abilities. He states, "wanting to have a biological child is nether a male nor female desire, but a human desire" (Beatie, 2008, par 3). He and his wife always wanted to have a child; however, Nancy had to have a hysterectomy which resulted in the loss of her reproductive abilities. Thus, they decided that he would carry their child. He stopped taking his testosterone medication and after about four months his body regulated itself. In order to get pregnant he did not take…. [read more]

Old Chinese Proverb Term Paper

… As a nurse, it would be difficult for me to take sides in this case without more facts because the parents were obviously compassionate and understanding and the western medical community had their vast amounts of experience.

Lia's health and future would require a deeper understanding of both the parent's cultural beliefs and medical insight. Ironically, the west's professionals saw the Hmong professionals as witch doctors. But, shamanism has many great stories of historical journeys into the depths of the soul to the hidden world through myths, dreams, or near-death experiences. Many of these experiences and trips were drug induced like those of the peyote insights of the Native American Indian medicine men or the trance induced experiences of the Ecuadorian Jivaro Indians. Western doctors…. [read more]

Hmong Have Experienced Continual Cultural and Physical Essay

… ¶ … Hmong have experienced continual cultural and physical exodus. These forced migrations were exacerbated by the conditions of the Vietnam War and its aftermath. As Anne Fadiman points out in the Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, the Americans are now coming to terms with who the Hmong are, and how their culture has been formed amid tremendous adversity. It can even be said that Hmong history is characterized by conflict. The Hmong have been able to maintain cultural identity and continuity partly as a means to resist invasions. Those invasions are not just physical but also cultural.

One of the main historical threads in Hmong culture is tragedy: being forcibly removed off of land, losing population in war, and struggling to preserve…. [read more]

Cultural Awareness Americans Term Paper

… In summary, both the Hmong people and the indigenous tribes of Africa have concepts of illness and healing that are in direct contrast with Western concepts identifying health and illness with the physical body. Some of the concepts - such as the importance of community - have yet to find resonance in the Western world. When these concepts collide, a lack of cultural awareness can have tragic results.

Viewed in this light, physicians and health workers are faced more arduous requirements, to be culturally sensitive as well as medically competent. This awareness is already having positive results, as seen in the growing number of medical institutions that offer classes in various cultural health traditions.


Even prior to the wave of immigrants from African and…. [read more]

Epilepsy Medically Speaking, the Disease Term Paper

… ¶ … Epilepsy

Medically speaking, the disease of epilepsy is part of a group of neurologic disorders characterized by recurring episodes of "convulsive seizures, sensory disturbances, abnormal behavior, loss of consciousness" or a combination of all (Glanz, 434). Epilepsy is usually classified as a specific disorder when a person experiences two or more seizures without a clear reason for the seizures. Some researchers believe epilepsy may be the result of a hereditary tendency or some type of brain injury, such as severe head trauma or stroke. The condition of recurrent and unprovoked seizures is referred to as true epilepsy. Thus, it is a common misconception that all seizures are medically referred to as epilepsy.

The causes of epilepsy are quite complex, but most agree that…. [read more]

Cultural Issues in Four Texts Term Paper

… They view life on earth as fragile and believe that the continued existence of humankind is dependent on a new attitude of cooperation rather than conquest."

It is important to understand that Grenz is not in favor of postmodern views and thus refuses to endorse them. he feels that it is only the old religious beliefs that can help restore hope in postmodern society. Grenz maintains that it is the postmodern who need to understand the Church and not vice versa. This is because Church more or less remains stagnant and Grenz believes it is the unchanging nature of Christian doctrines that can help postmodernists come out of the thick clouds of hopelessness. On the other hand, Anne Fadiman is essentially a postmodern person who…. [read more]

Arrival of Hmong Term Paper

… This was because the government had no knowledge of the Hmong community's traditions and cultures. The Hmong people were initially introverts with a totally different perspective of life and religion compared to their American counterparts, and it was very difficult for them to live amongst city centers and thriving metropolitan cities, being that their roots were in farming and they had no schooling knowledge of English. After a brief period, many migrated to the Central Valley of California from their initial settlements to the Midwest, Northeast, Western and Southern United States. This secondary migration was due to the economic opportunities present in California that were not available anywhere else and ones that identified with Hmong culture. Especially preferred by the Hmong people were the cities…. [read more]

Defend or Reject: Buchanan Essay

… The Lee's actions of love seem negligible in light of their failure to keep up with the treatment.

The other query would be whether it is the fault of the parents that they conceptualize the medical issue in an entirely different way from western medical practitioners. It is difficult to devise a straightforward answer. I think it is not their fault, but this does not portray them in a different light when it comes to the issue of incompetence. This is not a relative issue since they are within a bigger system that charges parents with the duty of looking after their child's health, and they should discharge this duty. It is, therefore, logical that there is more weight on the attitude and behavior of…. [read more]

Walk Down the Busy City Street Essay

… ¶ … walk down the busy city street. It is a beautiful day, 70 degrees, clear, blue sky. The early morning sun is beginning to shine down for warmth and comfort. The jackets will come off. The shorts will be put on. The sidewalks team with hundreds, thousands of people rushing, rushing....Do they know where? Do they know why?

How communication has changed in the last decade, even over the last three years. First everyone carrying cell phones, and now more and more people having strange plastic and metal attachments behind their ears.

The development of language was one of the greatest human achievements. It united separate individuals with a bond of understanding. People could work together, share thoughts and feelings and pass on their…. [read more]

Cultural Differences Often Impedes Progress. "The Spirit Book Report

… ¶ … cultural differences often impedes progress. "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" by Anne Fadiman takes a dramatic look at what occurs when cultures class in the area of healing and healthcare. The book is set in both Merced, California and the country of Laos in Southeast Asia. The primary characters are the Lee family which is composed of the daughter Lia, the mother Foua Yang and the father Nao Kao. The Lee family belongs to the Hmong ethnic group which are descendants of the Chinese Miao and reside in Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Overall Fadman wants readers to see and perhaps acknowledge the fact that there are very real cultural differences that exist in the world. The American way of giving…. [read more]

Hmong This Saying, Attributed to William Osler Essay

… Hmong

This saying, attributed to William Osler, is the preface of the book by clinical neurologist Oliver Sacks called An Anthropologist on Mars. He is also the author of the book Awakenings, and is known for becoming the translator of neurological disorders. Sacks dismisses the traditional medical/clinical way of examining disease. Instead, he enters into the lives, senses and environments of his neurological patients. Until recently, but even now, managing healthcare has been centered on financial and administrative structures to reduce costs. However, due to the growing competition in the marketplace, price alone will not make a healthcare provider successful. The new way of viewing healthcare is to recognize that disease management includes not only the ill patients, but the well ones, too. Patients are…. [read more]

Impressions of War the Most Vivid Imagine Essay

… Impressions of War

The most vivid imagine of war was the beginning of it all. September 11, 2001 changed the United States. It was vividly relived over and over again in the media and in the newspaper. There was this sense that the nation's spirit had been broken and there was no room to live innocently. There were plenty of young individuals, both male and female, that either got summoned or volunteered to go and fight this war on terrorism. It began in the United States with the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington DC. Although we did not really know it at the time, this was the first image of war and it was the…. [read more]

Ace Ventura Pet Detective Research Paper

… Ace Ventura

Comedy and the Pet Detective

Bergson and what it means to laugh

Henri Bergson dissects the reasons why comedy works and what it means to be funny in his "classic statement of the principles of humor" (Kelly, Young). Bergson's view of humor comes from his understanding of life, which he saw as a "vital impulse, not to be understood by reason alone" (Kelly, Young). In his work entitled Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic, Bergson stresses the important point that laughter and comedy are what separate man from the animals. Animals do not have the ability to laugh at themselves or at others. Humans do. Therefore, comedy is something that is "strictly human" (Bergson 3). Laughter, Bergson states, is always…. [read more]

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