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Case Approach to Counseling and Psychotherapy
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Chapter 7 / Exercise 2
Case Approach to Counseling and Psychotherapy
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Unformatted text preview: ANTH‐145 The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: Discussion Questions FADIMAN PAGES 3‐106 1. On pp. 9‐10, Fadiman describes a Hmong ceremony called a soul‐calling, to give the baby a name, which in Laos always took place on the third day,. She makes a point about the baby not being considered to be fully a member of the human race till then. What function might this custom have had? Do we have any customs, ideas that might be analogous? Would the Hmong have been aware of this function? 2. Describe the Hmong etiological system. (What does etiology mean, do you think?) 3. What might be the explanations behind some of the Hmong beliefs about disease causation? 4. Describe the views about epilepsy mentioned in the book. What can we learn from them? 5. If a shaman (Txiv nee–person with a healing spirit) rejects his vocation, he will die. Why? Any parallels with western medicine? 6. Janine Hilt was the only one who had actually asked the Lees what they thought was the cause of their daughter‘s illness. What, from a western medicine perspective, would be the value of taking the time to do this? 7. On p. 29 Fadiman describes a character in a Dostoyevsky novel who describes epilepsy as something good. Can you think of other examples of diseases which, in spite of being abnormal, are considered good? 8. What were some of the contrasts in the Lee‘s understanding of Txiv neebs and their understanding of physicians? 9. What were your reactions to the account on p. 52 of a doctor calling Child Protective Services, accusing parents of child abuse because they refused chemotherapy for their son? 10. Peggy and Neil, usually unflappable, felt enormous rage when they found out that the Lees were making decisions about Lia‘s medication. Would you feel such rage? Analyze all of its sources. 11. What were the sources of resentment towards the Lees? 12. Analyze the decision to declare Lia Lee to be a Dependent Child of the Juvenile Court, in order to place her in foster care. 13. “Hmong view of health care seemed to me to be precisely the opposite of the prevailing American one, in which the practice of medicine has fissioned into smaller and smaller sub‐specialties, with less and less truck between bailiwicks.“ Describe the Hmong view of health care in terms of this opposition. (Who knows what a bailiwick is?) 14. Why weren‘t Hmong ideal hospital patients? 15. List as many reasons as you can for why Hmong were the least liked of all recent Asian immigrant groups in California. 16. —Might Neil actually have compromised Lia‘s health by being so uncompromising? That latter question still bothers him. 1 ANTH‐145 The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: Discussion Questions 17. Fadiman states on p. 96 that her and May Ying‘s qualifications made them a decidedly low‐status team, and that this was an advantage. Why? Can we generalize this finding? 18. “I was suspended in a large bowl of Fish Soup. Medicine was religion. Religion was society. Society was medicine.” (p. 60). Compare and contrast to the US healthcare experience. FADIMAN PAGES 106‐288 1. What’s your position on animal slaughter as ritual in this country? 2. Fadiman provides a functionalist explanation for animal sacrifice. What is it? 3. What were your reactions to Fadiman’s discussion of the role of opium in Hmong life back in Laos? Why were there very few addicts? Why was “opium Poppy” the most beautiful name May Ying’s parents could give her? 4. What were your reactions to Fadiman’s discussion of the unrest in the region that caused Hmong to migrate once again? (E.g., between 1968 and 1972 the tonnage of bombs dropped on the Plain of Jars alone exceeded the tonnage dropped by American planes in both Europe and the Pacific during World War II.) Had you heard of “The Other War?” Did you find this chapter useful, or unnecessary to the main goals of the book? 5. “They saw us as smart and white, and as far as they were concerned the Lees were neither.” (p. 151) Have you witnessed an example of discrimination in health care? 6. Fadiman, and some individuals in the book (e.g., Conquergood), believes the Hmong were especially resented because they were the most different from Westerners. Do you think this explains the negative evaluations—that the Hmong were “dirty” and “difficult,” or do you think that most of these reactions were due to the fact that, given American standards and expectations, the Hmong were in fact dirty and difficult in Americans’ eyes? Defend both positions. Critique both positions. 7. What were your reactions to the sponsoring pastor in Minnesota telling a local newspaper “It would be wicked to just bring them over and feed and clothe them and let them go to hell. The god who made us wants them to be converted.” (p. 185) 8. Fadiman argues that the Hmong have preserved their culture more successfully than other Asian immigrants. What evidence does she give? 9. Medi‐Cal refused to pay for formula after Lia no longer used the feeding tube (p. 212). Defend this policy. Criticize it. 10. PROBLEM: Seizure disorder on Depakene. Resolved. PROBLEM: Obesity. Resolved. Discuss. 11. Fadiman quotes an anthropologist (and states several times) that children were generally adored among the Hmong. How much do we in the US adore children?Give evidence for both the Hmong and Americans. Give examples showing contrasts between Hmong and Americans. 2 ANTH‐145 The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: Discussion Questions 12. “Lia’s parents think that the problem was caused by too much medicine.” “Well,” said Dr. Hutchinson, “that may not be too far from the truth.” (p. 255) Discuss. 13. If you were writing this book, how would you do it? 14. What did you think of the way Fadiman ended the book? 3 ...
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