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Lecture 5

Week 5 Article Gregg and Saha.docx
Week 5 Article Gregg and Saha.docx

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School
University of Toronto Scarborough
Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTC61H3
Professor
Peter Skrivanic
Semester
Fall

Description
Week 5 Article Gregg and Saha  Cross-cultural misunderstanding led Lia’s problems in the book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down  Fadiman ends her book by expressing the hope that medical schools and training programs will recognize the need to train students in cross-cultural medicine  That is now happening in medical schools o Idea was that immigrants unfamiliarity and discomfort with American practice, and physicians’ discomfort and unfamiliarity with immigrant beliefs leads to a cultural distance b/n immigrants and Western health care  The main call has being to eliminate racial and ethnical disparities in the quality of health care  Paper argues that the mismatch b/n the motivation behind the design of cross-cultural education programs and the motivation behind their current application creates significant problems 1. In trying to define cultural boundaries or norms, the programs inadvertently reinforce racial and ethnic biases and stereotypes  The cultural competence programs sometimes makes the mistake of viewing culture as a fixed, knowable entity that guides individuals’ behaviour in linear ways  But in Lecture 2 it says culture is not static but always changing and developing  Culture is changing cause of technology, people may belong to various cultures simultaneously etc. So you can’t define culture as a fixed entity  Therefore you cannot define a culture, as you risk stereotyping individuals  There is no way to predict behaviour of individuals due to personal variables  One criticism of Fadiman’s book is that it prevents a static notion of Hmong culture that does not allow for the possibility of dissent or individual variation within the population, and therefore moves close to stereotyping the entire community  E.g. when Hmong in the book act in ways contrary to Hmong culture, they are considered Americanized or simply Ameri
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