Carol Delaney is Associate Professor Emerita of Cultural and Social Anthropology at Stanford University. She is author of The Seed and the Soil: Gender and Cosmology in Turkish Village Society (1991), Abraham on Trial: The Social Legacy of Biblical Myth (1998), and Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem (2011).
Deborah Kaspin is an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Rhode Island College and has also taught at Yale University, the University of Virginia, and Wheaton College. She is editor of Images and Empires: Visuality in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa (2002) with Paul Landau.
Get a handle on the fundamentals of biological and cultural anthropology
When did the first civilizations arise? How many human languages exist? The answers are found in anthropology - and this friendly guide explains its concepts in clear detail. You'll see how anthropology developed as a science, what it tells us about our ancestors, and how it can help with some of the hot-button issues our world is facing today.
Discover:How anthropologists learn about the past Humanity's earliest activities, from migration to civilization Why our language differs from other animal communication How to find a career in anthropology
When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.
Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness aand healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.