The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: Cultural Clash

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: Cultural Clash This book focuses on the “clash” of cultures that occurs between the Lee family, immigrants to the US from Laos, and the doctors that treat their daughter, Lila, who has been diagnosed with epilepsy. La’s parents, Pouf and Ana Aka believe that Lila has fallen ill because she has “lost her soul”.

This clash of ideas highlights one of the problems that the Lee’s faced when dealing with the medical community in the US – the Lee’s believed strongly that all of life is intertwined, and that each individuals OLL is in constant danger, whether being stolen by “dabs”, or demons that steal souls, or your soul may simply “wander off like a butterfly”, as Pouf says.

If a Hong loses their soul, that is when they get sick – and they only get well when they have recovered their soul. The Hong make use of TV enables, or shaman, who are versed in the rescue of souls.

The US medical community, on the other hand, relies on blood tests, surgery, and a barrage of specialized doctors to detect, diagnose, and fix medical conditions. Some of their methods, mostly Invasive procedures, are thought f as disrespectful by the Hong ? One example that stood out to me was when Ala had her “big” seizure and was taken to the Valley Children’s hospital. She was in desperate need of “real” medical care, and the doctor she saw, Dry. Kopeck quickly proceeded giving her some heavy medication that put Lila in a state of more or less anesthesia.

Get quality help now
Prof. Finch

Proficient in: Cat

4.7 (346)

“ This writer never make an mistake for me always deliver long before due date. Am telling you man this writer is absolutely the best. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

La’s father, Ana Aka, was angry with Doctor Kopeck, because he gave Lila a lot of medications, and also recommended Lila get a spinal tap to check and see if the sepsis had passed into her spine, but did not consult with him beforehand. “They just took her to the hospital and they didn’t fix her. She got very sick and I think it is because they gave her too much medicine. ” -Ana Aka This Is an exemplary example of the social construction of the ideas of health and Illness (the US medical community vs.. He Hong spirit-based Ideas) and also helps to Illustrate the Hong point of view that doctors are not to be trusted. Ala was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was very young, and she ended up In the emergency room many times over the next few years of her life. Each visit to the emergency room brought with it its own set of trials and tribulations dealing with doctors who may or may not have ad any real understanding of the Hong culture or the “normal” procedures that the Hong used in the healing process.

I was very surprised to see some quotes from a doctor named Robert Small, stating that “The Hong breed like flies, as if the golden goose of welfare will continue to lay eggs forever” and also “They Just come in late and drop it out They’re almost stone age people. Hell, they never went to a doctor before [for birthing] They Just had a baby in the camp or the mountains or wherever the hell they came from. ” While there were some doctors and nurses who id come to care for Ala – but their actions (removing Ala from her parents home) as viewed through the Hong “lens” would seem Just as bad as the comments made by Dry.

Small would seem to a caring person. I nerve are a lot AT things Tanat were Interesting Dolts AT “culture smock” tonguing t book, but The complete lack of understanding (or the distrust of) that La’s parents seem to have of US medical procedures – from Pouf’s experiences at Alias birth to the aforementioned invasive procedures and doses of medicine that made Ana Aka angry at the doctors, and the complete The lack of understanding of the Hong ultra (or impatience with “silly healing procedures”) of the Doctors that treated Lila and dealt with La’s parents were astounding.

Even the efforts of some “caring” nurses and medical staff took actions that were awful in the eyes of La’s parents. I originally intended to conclude this paper with some type of “solution” to these culture problems that stood out to me – I am, however, completely unable to provide any type of solution.

The social and cultural issues that have to be crossed are simply too great – from the very history of the Hong people, to their religion, to their beliefs ND deductive / inductive logic about health and sickness all the way to the “politically’ of American medicine and the lack of parental “control” over what was happening to Lila to the stereotypes of the Hong people that doctors seemed prone to applying to the language barrier that prevented doctors from accurately portraying what was being performed on Lila to her parents.

I did some reading about this story on my own, and read that some of the community leaders where the Hong lived decided to bring in the TV enables as part of the medical teams working on Hong patients with great success. We talked about something like this in our discussion section, where we debated the difference between a translator and a cultural broker was, and specifically, how the cultural broker was much more well-suited to the task of interpreting the symbolisms and meanings of actions and words that a translator might miss.

In the context of this book, when family members who knew some English were translating for La’s parents, they were probably losing some of the meanings and emotions behind the words they were speaking. When the TV enables were brought in, they effectively acted as a sort of cultural broker to the Hong tenants, allowing them to feel comfortable in the hospital environment. The problems of culture shock, and lack of cultural understanding, whether it be on purpose or on accident is a huge problem that cannot be easily solved without taking a lot of effort and time to really make an effort to understand the other culture. We cannot know who we are, unless we know where we came from”. – Anon Hong Essay I am going to explain how the Hongs religion works and how it is different from most religions. I will also write about how the Hongs religion works and how they live their lives. The Hong people take their religion seriously. They would die for it. Their beliefs are different in many ways. They don’t believe in medicine. They have many rituals that are controversial. The first topic I will be explaining to you about is the Hong religion and how it is different to other religions.

For Hong women, they believe in the existence of vital forms embodying human beings, animals, objects such as rocks and places such as rivers, mountains, forests, etc. For Hong men, their choice of beliefs does not pose, In an extreme way, social or religious generalness Decease teeny are Odor as noels AT the tradition. Men are the keepers of the traditional beliefs. When a man wants to get married, he can kidnapped the women and make her his spouse. The women don’t have a choice that they get to marry. When a divorce happens, it is an unspeakable, indescribable, and unresolved issue of belonging on behalf to Hong people.

I find this religion different than most, because for almost all religions, don’t kidnap women to be their wife, and when a divorce comes up, they have to go into jury for their divorce and Hongs Just don’t speak of it and move on with the rest of their lives. The next topic I will be writing about is, why don’t Homing’s believe in using medicine? In the Book “The Spirit catches you and you Fall Down”, the Lees family has problems with the American doctors because they don’t speak the same language and Hong people are against using medicine.

Especially when there may be a time when someone is about to die, and they can communicate but I think that using medicine is strictly against their religion. It depends on the situation if the Hong would have to use medicine to cure what may be killing the person. It is uncommon for Hong people to use medicine because it is against their religion. Some rituals that the Hong use are, calling the soul(s), marriage, funerals, the leaning rituals, the rituals of fertility, and the rites of passage of time. During the marriage ritual, the bride has to wear three dresses which are a traditional dress, a Ala dress, and a white dress.

The funerals get split up into two times where one is in Southeast Asia and the other one is held in the United States. The traditional way for a celebration will be men than women. In conclusion, the Hong religion to me seems very different than the main religions I know of. I don’t know any other religion that is against medicine and that kidnaps women to be their wives. To me, his is different and I’m not used to this and this is new to me but for the Hong, this isn’t new and they find what they do very common. They would die for their religion they wouldn’t harm it or cause anything that is against their religion.

A lot of people may think that their religion is different than the Hong but it’s Just their own opinion. The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down By Anne Fading In the book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fading, a child named Lila Lee is taken away from her parents by Child Protective Services and placed in foster care, because they aren’t giving her medication for epilepsy. Although resulting in some medical benefits those benefits were lost because of destructive psychological and emotional damage to Lila. Dry.

Neil Ernst decided to call child protective services when Lila Lee’s parents Noun Kook and Pouf were reluctant to give her, her medicine. Dry. Neil Ernst said: I felt it was important for these Hongs to understand that there were certain elements of medicine that we understood better than they did and that there were certain rules they had to follow with their kids lives. I wanted the word to get out in the community that if they deviated from that, it was not acceptable behavior (pig. 9 Fading). Dry. Ernst could have also been arrested for not reporting it.

There were some alternatives to calling Child Protective Services such as my favorite one; having a nurse visit the Lees?w three times daily to administer the medications, but this thought did not occur to Dry. Ernst and/or seemed unreasonable at the time. Although Fading does not mention what Dry. Ernst tongue tout tons course AT Acton, I can only suspect Tanat It would nave Eden too expensive to have a nurse visit three times a day. Also they shouldn’t be rewarded for their noncompliance by having someone else administer their gutter’s medication.

It might have also provoked the Lees to anger because they didn’t like to give Lila the medicine because of how the medicine made her depressed and sullen. After Lila was taken away for a period of a few weeks, Noun Kook almost beat an interpreter named Sue Going who was interpreting for a COPS (#) social worker. Noun Kook said: I was outside and Sue came inside and she called me and said, Come in here, you come in here. At that time I was ready to hit Sue, and I got a baseball bat right there. My son-in-law was with me, and he grabbed me and told me not to do it (pig. Fading), so you can see the Lee’s were violent natured. The second reason the Noun Kook and Pouf did not want to give their daughter the medicine was that they believed like other Hongs that people with epilepsy are caught by a good or bad spirit which makes them fall to the ground (the Hong word for epilepsy translates into: the spirit catches you and you fall down) and while their under siege they get messages from the gods. Many people in their culture with epilepsy become cultural healers or shamans. The plan of sending a nurse would have been my plan. It would have been a lot of time and money though.

And when the Hong community is already draining our resources through welfare doesn’t make much sense to spend more money on them. It also would not have said that ?occur medicine is better?0 as good either. Although Dry. Nil’s plan of letting COPS handle it worked out for him it did not work out for Lila for she had more seizures at her foster home with the medicine than at home with missed and half doses. The reason is because she did not want to be separated from her parents, and the emotional damage from the separation. Some people would say it was selfish and lazy that Dry.

Ernst did not at least try to use a nurse to administer the medication. I believe if I was Him that I would try sending a nurse for Two weeks to see if it would work and then make a decision. But on the other hand I believe that these stubborn, ignorant people should?wet be pampered when they are already helping themselves to so much (#) from the tax payers through welfare. Because of these two issues of Dry. Ernst?was quickness to make a decision, and the Hong community taking so much and giving nothing back, it is hard for me to make a decision and I feel myself ?slipping?o towards Dry.

Ernst?was decision. I don?wet blame Dry. Ernst for his decision which I think is the most logical choice and even if he tried my Two weeks idea it still would?wet make sending a nurse any less expensive. All I am saying is that he should not have worried about teaching the Hong community a lesson on reality so much and think more about the health of the individual named Lila Lee. The Hongs believe that to treat the body you must also treat the soul, what happened here is that La’s soul got hurt so she didn’t get better at all, nor much worse.

That is why I think the medicine didn’t work effectively. It is unfortunate that cultural misunderstanding and language barriers got in the way of what could have been resolved much more easily. (#) Citation Fading, Anne. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. New York: The Noonday Press, 1997 (#) Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is a stimulating adventure for any Intelligent reader winos near Ana mall are open to reaching Demon a Tanat wanly Is familiar and understood.

Against a backdrop of cultural mystery, tales of nations at war, an epoch of human misery, and a thundering clash of two worthy, well- intentioned cultures, a baby girl has epilepsy, and all who know her struggle to help her. The child–Lila Lee–is the 13th born to mother Pouf and father Ana Aka Lee, residents of Mercer County, California. The Lees are among the 150,000 Hong who have fled Laos since their country fell to communist forces in 1975. 1 :pa Like many Hong, the Lees were a fiercely independent family of self-sufficient farmers who, chased by war and political strife, in 1980 arrived in California, a land of foreign customs and languages where the Hong would save their lives but lose their treasured identity s respected, productive people. Lila was the first Lee child to be born in a hospital–a surreal experience for Pouf, all of whose other children were delivered by Pouf, unattended and in silence so as not to alert the evil spirits (dabs) to each new child’s presence.

Ana Aka had dutifully buried the placentas of the first 12 children under the hut’s dirt floor so that their souls could find their way back home after death. L :pa (And by the time the Lees arrived in California, half of their children had already died. ) The book’s title is a literal translation of aqua dab peg, the Hong phrase describing a seizure. :pop Fading shows how the Hong view of epilepsy is similar to views expressed in other periods and cultures–for example, by the ancient Greeks, who viewed epilepsy as a “sacred disease” of supernatural origin. :pop,28 Given both their natural concern for the health of their daughter and their reluctance to interfere with things supernatural, the Lees were burdened with an unwieldy internal struggle that would only worsen as they tentatively brought their seizing baby daughter repeatedly into the hospital’s emergency department. There, unable to communicate with the child’s parents, the kind, well-intentioned deiced staff endured the unspeakable frustrations of having to practice “veterinary medicine” on the seizing Lila.

Despite everyone’s best efforts, the unavailability of translation services, combined with profound cultural differences, resulted in Lila being underestimated, overestimated, and MIS-medicated. La’s seizures were increasingly severe, and her physicians knew that onset of an uncontrollable grand mall seizure was inevitable. Said one of La’s physicians, “It was so haunting. I started to have nightmares that it was going to happen, and I would be the one on call, and I couldn’t stop it and she was going to die right before my eyes. :Pl 18 The Hong are superior parents in general,l :pop and Fading illustrates the outstanding care the Lees provided to Lila. Nonetheless, the complexity of La’s medical regime would have befuddled even the most literate, American-born parents: “By the time she was four and a half, La’s parents had been told to give her, at various times, Ethylene, noncompliance, monoclinic, Dilatation, Phenobarbital, erythrocytes, color, allegretto, Bendable, Palazzos, VI-Deadly Multivitamins Walt Iron, Albumen, Deadpanned, and Valid”l :pop and that these drugs were to be administered only at certain times and under specific conditions.

La’s father said, “Sometimes the soul goes away but the doctors don’t believe it. I would like you to tell the doctors to believe in our nave [healing spirit] The doctors can fix some sicknesses that involve the body and blood, but for us Hong, some people get sick because of their soul, so they need spiritual things. With Lila it was good to do a little medicine and a little nave, but not too much medicine because the medicine cuts the newbie’s effect. If we did a little of each she didn’t get sick as much, but the doctors wouldn’t let us give Just a little medicine because they didn’t understand about the soul. 1 :IPPP The reciprocal frustration of the parents and of the clinicians are compounded by arrival of the grand mall seizure. Fading’s tale of the events leading up to and following this event make this modern tragedy—in which everyone fights for the good, yet no one wins—an opportunity for greater wisdom. Fading provides extraordinary insight into how vital is a thorough understanding of cultural diversity to successful practice of the medical arts. Imagine their Footwear Imagine a family from out of the country moves into the house next door to you. Imagine the new family is very similar to your own.

Imagine that the only differences” are that they cannot speak your language, and they maintain their own cultural norms. Will that keep you from interacting with them? Will that small gap become a ravine between two cultures? Although it was not the doctors of Mercer County Medical Center’s (MIMIC) choice to have the case of a severely epileptic young girl thrust into their laps, it is safe to say that they could have handled the situation a lot better if only they had taken the time to imagine themselves in the shoes of the Hong, specifically the Lee family.

When people immigrate to the United States from other countries, they are usually cooking for the freedom they hear about on the news and on television. It is indeed their yearning, their intense desire to pursue a better life for themselves and for their families. They do not want white picket fences and golden retrievers that fetch the mail, they simply long for a better opportunity for their children. Some immigrants do not come to the United States by free choice; they are simply searching for freedom, to be free from persecution and turmoil that they must contend with in their homelands.

It is easy to see the situation and mindset of the Hong in this case. Even though his may seem incredibly farfetched, I can honestly relate to their situation. Even though Puerco Rice and Laos are a million miles apart, and beyond the fact the Puerco Ricans are technically citizens, we must deal with the similar hardships and struggles as the Hong people, who must work so hard and endure so much Just to get here. My father, who is sixty years old, speaks decent English, accompanied however by a thick Spanish accent. Because the U. S. S not his homeland, even though he has alive nerve Tort more than 40 years, en still NAS trouble when en goes to ten doctor, mechanic, or wherever, unless they too speak Spanish. He will hear and take in the instructions given, but unless l, or another interpreter, am present, he will go home and not apply or work with what he was told, perhaps going instead for a natural cure. It is easy understand the Hongs frustration with American society. When your culture has such strong norms and beliefs, it is hard to see anything else as feasible.

The Lees especially did not want to have their daughter thrown into the world of western medicine and frequent doctor visits. However, because they were told back in the refugee camps about medicines that would cure a person in a day (antibiotics), hey Just wanted the best for their daughter so they had hope the hospital could take it away. No sane and capable parent would want to cause their child pain. Needless to say, when the Lees saw La’s reaction to the medicines, they could not handle the pain of seeing her suffer; instead they attempted their own remedy.

It is not fair for the doctors to get mad at concerned parents. It is probably not the first time parents do such an act, but because it is in relation to the Hong and their “backwards culture,” it has to be wrong. Now imagine the place of the doctors in Mercer County Medical Center. They did not choose to have this patient or this case thrown into their laps. They were not taught on how to handle patients or families like the Lees in medical school.

Their western training taught them to understand advanced medicine, science, and technology, not how “the loss of spirit makes you sick” (Fading 20). It was the Lee’s choice to keep bringing Lila back, and in doing that, they should be handing her over to the doctors and let them do what they know best. Instead, the family brings her to the hospital, but expects the doctors to do what they do at home, such as coin- ebbing or shaman techniques. If they do not like the Neil and Piggy’s help, why does the Lee family always return?

If they want to practice their own rituals, why go to the hospital every day? If they do not like the medicine Lila is prescribed, why involve the doctors at all? A doctor’s duty is to help the best they can, using what resources and knowledge they have gained throughout their education and experience. However, when a special case arises, such as La’s and they are at a loss of what to do, perhaps a little more interaction with the families would be extremely helpful to the entire situation. Not even trying’ seems to be a symptom of American doctors when working with immigrants.

When Lila had her biggest grand mall, she was taken to Fresno, and her foster parents followed her there. According to Dee Korea, “It was awful. The doctors wouldn’t even look at Pouf and Ana Aka. They only look at us Jeanine. They saw us as smart and white, and as far as they were concerned, the Lees were neither” (151). Although the doctors have been trying to help the Lee family, it seems like they cannot imagine themselves in the situation of the Hong. The doctors see themselves as right, and anyone who has a different opinion is wrong.

They needed to realize that their advanced ways and new technology, although proving to be helpful, are not things with which the Hong are comfortable. The Lees were thrown into a strange new environment, so of course anyone would want to do what they Know nest, Instead AT welfare maleness Ana uncomfortable procedures. Split catches You On October 24, 1982, three-month-old Lila Lee was carried into the emergency room of the county hospital in Mercer, California. La’s parents, Hong refugees from the hill country of Laos, spoke no English; the hospital staff spoke no Hong.

On a later visit, La’s doctors would determine that she was suffering from a severe case of epilepsy, a misfiring of the brain’s neurons. Her parents, however, believed that her seizures were caused by the flight of her soul from her body and called her condition by its Hong name: aqua dab peg (“the spirit catches you and you fall down”). This essential misunderstanding, leading to and surrounded by a host of smaller confusions, ultimately resulted in tragedy for Lila. In her stunning work of cross- cultural reportage, Anne Fading presents La’s story from both perspectives.

We earn how devotedly La’s parents, Ana Aka Lee and Pouf Yang, cared for their daughter, carrying her everywhere, arranging animal sacrifices for her, and making traditional remedies from herbs grown in the parking lot behind their apartment building. We also see the case through the eyes of La’s doctors, the husband-and- wife team of Neil Ernst and Peggy Philip, who went to great efforts to fine-tune La’s treatment and spent many sleepless nights pondering how to give her the best care possible.

And yet doctors and parents looked on helplessly as La’s condition worsened, each blaming the other. The doctors were angry because the parents failed to give Lila her prescribed medications in the proper doses; the parents were angry because the medications had side effects. In an attempt to understand this sad impasse, Fading casts her net ever wider, examining Western medical culture and the history and spiritual traditions of the Hong.

The Hong, a legendarily fierce and invincible tribe, were driven from their homes after the U. S. -sponsored “Quiet War” in Laos, during which many had been recruited to fight by the CIA. More than 100,000 ended up in America, but, especially in the early years, retained strong Hong cultural aloes: family and community were prized; coercion was hated. As Fading discovers, Western physicians, trained to practice a technical art bound by strict rules and traditions, could be equally uncompromising.

It is Fading’s signal achievement that she manages to empathic with those on both sides, communicating their intentions with compassion and humanity and carefully weighing the consequences of their actions. Her descriptions of everything from complicated medical procedures and emergency room protocol to Hong healing ceremonies and refugee camp life in Thailand are sharply focused and compelling; ere portraits of La’s dedicated and stubborn doctors and her loving and stubborn parents are rich and nuanced.

Through her telling of the story of a single Hong child, she communicates the essence of two very different worldviews, and holds out the hope that they might one day be reconciled. The Spirit Catches you and you Fall Down In The Spirit Catches you and you Fall Down, Fading presents the medical case of Ala Lee against ten Attract AT cultural relatively. In examining Helmsman’s perspective, though, we should look first at the anthropological meaning of cultural relativism.

We can then place Fading’s perspective in context, and perhaps apply her conclusions beyond medical education to K-12 contexts. Going back to the beginning of the 20th century, we can find evidence in the literature that early anthropologists were concerned with the make-up of culture and its various influences. Alan Bernard (2000) uses the last words from the 1922 edition of Sir James Freezer’s The Golden Bough to illuminate the cultural relativist’s emerging view of the fabric of culture.

Without dipping so far deep into the future we may illustrate the course which Hough has hitherto run by likening it to a web woven of three different threads -the black thread of magic, the red thread of religion, and the white thread of science Could we then survey the web of thought from the beginning, we should probably perceive it to be at the first a exchequer of black and white, a patchwork of true and false notions, hardly tinged as yet by the red thread of religion.

But carry your eye farther along the fabric and you will remark that, while the black and white exchequer still runs through it, there rests on the middle portion of the web a dark crimson taint, which shades off insensibly into a lighter tint as the white thread of science is woven more and more into the tissue (Frazer, 1922, p. 713 in Bernard, 2000, p. 37). Freezer’s fabric treats us to a metaphor of thought and culture that emphasizes taking a pretty close look at the threads that influence both our developing thought and the interrelated view of meaning in context.

Much later, in reinforcing cultural relativism, Clifford Geezer critiqued a dominant tendency among ethnographers to search for universals of culture and sought to build on the semiotic theory of culture. Geezer proposed that culture was “a set of control mechanisms -plans, recipes, rules, for the governing of behavior” (Geezer, 1973, p. 44) and that people depended on these mechanisms to order their behavior.

Geezer advocates cultural relativism as applied to specific human behavior governed by cultural fabric: “One of the most significant facts about us may finally be that we all begin with the natural equipment to live a thousand kinds of life but end in the end having lived only one” (p. 45). The concept of cultural relativism emerges as an important consideration in Fading’s work. Cultural relativism has evolved over time but remains a part of anthropological thinking in the United States particularly where epistemological relativism is concerned.

According to Bernard (2000), cultural relativists argue that “culture regulates the way human beings perceive the world” (p. 99). With its roots in cultural determinism, epistemological relativism holds that there are no generalize cultural patterns (p. 100). The understanding of the behavior of people must be done within the context of their cultures and interpreted, as Geezer would ay, utilizing the strategy of “thick description” borrowed from Gilbert Rely (Geezer, 1973, p. 6).

Geezer, according to Bernard, has been a leader among the theoretical advocates of cultural relativism within anthropology in the United States. The concept is not without its critics, though. Ernest Giggler, for example, places the onus on Geezer for leading a generation of anthropological thinking toward subjectivist styles and postmodernism. If everything is relative, “what is there to do other than express the anguish engendered by this situation in impenetrable prose (Giggler, 1992, p. 45 Bernard, 2000, p. 73)?

In Fading’s story of Lila, ten immolating meal epistemology approval ten mechanisms AT Interpretation Tort the medical community. Effie Bunch, for example, a nurse at the Mercer Community Medical Center (MIMIC), provides this observation of Hong epistemology: “l don’t think the mom and dad ever truly understood the connection between a seizure and what it did to the brain My general impression was that they really felt we were all an intrusion and that if they could Just do what they thought best for their child, that child would be fine” (Fading, 1997, p. 8). Later in Fading’s narrative, she quotes Dan Murphy, a resident at MIMIC, in a reasonably reflective moment: “And the other thing that was different between them and me was that they seemed to accept things that to me were major catastrophes as part of the normal flow of life. For them, the crisis was the treatment, not the epilepsy [italics in original]” (p. 53). Additionally, Racquet Arias, an obstetrician at MIMIC, indicated that “According to their beliefs and principles, they are trying to protect the mother and the baby and their way of life.

And what you think is necessary happens to be exactly the opposite of what they think is appropriate” (p. 75). In thinking about Frazer, Geezer and Fading, I wonder how, in the broader sense, similar misinterpretations are played out in schools. In Choosing Democracy: A Practical Guide to Multicultural Education, Duane Campbell (2000) presented one view. Campbell argued a relativistic perspective in claiming that people are so deep within their own culture that they “are not even aware they have a world view.

They assume that all people see reality through a perspective similar to their own. Persians (Iranians) have a saying for this myopia: ‘It is difficult for the fish to see the stream. ” (p. 49). Yet, in characterizing cultural elitism as an ethical research stance, Campbell argued that teachers, in respecting cultural differences, have a different agenda than the research ethnographers. Teachers need to reject the notion of “melting pot cultural domination,” and accept the role of “cultural mediators and present models of ethical behavior that encourage equality and respect” (p. 5). Interestingly, Fading’s book has a good deal to say about the notion of the melting pot perspective on immigration and the harm it does. Chapter 14 goes into quite some detail to capture xenophobic comments and official documents that reflect how one culture can so nominate another as to lay blame on the “Other” for inabilities, misinterpretations, and even “Stone Age” mentalities (up. 188-189).

In some sense, Fading’s comments on what to do to as cultural mediators when seeking to bridge differences match fairly well with Campbell suggestions. Campbell suggested teachers take the role of cultural mediators, while Fading advocates the use of interpreters as “cultural brokers” (up. 264-265). In either context, when moral decisions are to be made regarding the treatment of people, there is much room for interpretation and ethical behavior.

Cite this page

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: Cultural Clash. (2017, Oct 31). Retrieved from

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: Cultural Clash
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7