Anthroweek11 - in a stagnant cultural barrier that’s hard to overcome and if this wasn’t enough conflict there’s also a language barrier

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Summary: Week 11 This week, we were instructed to begin reading the book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down . The book is centered around a young Hmong girl named Lia Lee, her battle with epilepsy, and her culture. We get a lot of insight on various traditions of the Hmong people; such as how they bury the placenta because a person’s soul travels back to it, they start at the beginning of the world when telling a folktale, they do not take orders or like to lose, and they give sacrifices (such as livestock) for the well being of loved ones. Lia Lee’s parents are Nao Kao and Foua Lee. When Lia Lee first suffers a seizure, her parents view it as something special since amongst the Hmong culture, people with seizures are thought to have special powers and usually become Shamans. The seizures continue until eventually Lia’s parents take her to an American doctor, Neil. The Hmong’s traditions for healing and those of American doctors result
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Unformatted text preview: in a stagnant cultural barrier that’s hard to overcome; and if this wasn’t enough conflict there’s also a language barrier which makes if very difficult for a doctor to treat a Hmong patient, in this case, Lia Lee. Neil prescribes Lia medication but her parents fail to give her the right dosage at the right times. Because Lia’s parents takes what the doctor says as merely advice, Lia’s problem worsens to the point where Lia is placed in foster care. Six months pass and Lia is finally able to return home, where her parents do give her the medications prescribed, and she gets a lot better and even starts attending school. Unfortunately, she does end up having another bad seizure the day before Thanksgiving and doctors are unable to tame it. I found this week’s reading to be very enthralling. I had no idea of the kind of conflict that could arise between an American doctor and a patient from a very different ethnic background....
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This note was uploaded on 05/09/2008 for the course ANTHRO 104 taught by Professor Bowie during the Spring '08 term at Wisconsin.

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