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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman - Essay Example

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In the essay “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman” the author examines one of the modern classics in the medical anthropology genre. Tracing the challenges of assimilation of a Hmong family into the USA, the book is admirable on many counts…
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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman

Download file to see previous pages... or about the value, limitations, and ethical implications of ethnography as a way of making sense of social conduct, for instance – in your personal and professional roles? The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman is one of the modern classics in the medical anthropology genre. Tracing the immigration and the challenges of assimilation of a Hmong family into the USA, the book is admirable on many counts. Firstly, for medical professionals, it offers valuable insights into the symptoms, treatment options and overall management of epilepsy in children. Second, it presents the unique challenges faced by health care professionals in a multi-cultural environment. Third, the book documents the broader details of Hmong ethnography, adopting classical anthropological approaches. The rest of the essay will elaborate these features, as well as noting the personal and professional impact the book has had upon the writer. The central dialectic in the book is how the shamanistic animism followed by the Hmong conflicts with the rationality of Occidental medicine. While the cultural heritage of the Hmong is rich and colourful, it betrays its superstitious underpinnings when juxtaposed with modern scientific knowledge and advancement. In other words, in light of our overall increase in the knowledge of the world, much of the Hmong beliefs appear mythical. In the classic case of conflict illustrated in The Spirit Catches You, we see how Hmong culture is markedly at odds with modern science. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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