the spirit catches you book 1


Anne Fadiman’s The Sprit Catches You and You Fall Down explores various Hmong cultural practices and beliefs, some of which may seem unusual in the mainstream U.S. society and other cultures. In particular, through her study of one Hmong girl’s family and of Hmong cultural history, Fadiman highlights differences between Hmong and Western perspectives on health and the body. When individuals with these different paradigms come in contact, the results is sometimes misunderstanding and mistrust; however, as Fadiman suggests, there is also hope for empathy and compassion, as individual try to understand the other side’s paradigm.

Select one of the following phenomena, in which Hmong and U.S. medical cultures exercise different practices: (you will use the treating disease phenomena for this paper)

Ø Childbirth

Ø Treating disease

For the phenomenon that you selected, 1.explain what underlying paradigms about the body are reflected in the Hmong practices for phenomenon you have chosen, 2.and how the Hmong paradigms differ from the Western medical views. 3.Consider also how these two perspectives could learn from each other and about how best to care for people. Support your essay by incorporating examples, paraphrases and quotations from the book and other supportive references (journal articles about Hmong practices). There should be at least a few examples/references related to the book.

Fadiman, A. (1998). The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures (1st Ed.). New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN-13: 978-0-3745-2564-4; ISBN-10: 0-3745-2564-1