A Summary and Comparison of “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down”
What is cultural competence? Why is it important? For some people it may simply be the joy in recognizing differences, but for others, it may be a barrier for survival. This concept is illustrated in a book written by Anne Fadiman titled “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.” The book introduces a Hmong family from Laos and the perils they face in American Culture. The boundaries set in place by ethnic differences cause families living in unfamiliar societies to face several trials. Cultural competence, a method used to diminish disparity, is a topic that has been discussed for decades and there are several models and theories to break these cultural lines. It is important for today’s society, particularly healthcare employees, to understand the unique qualities that come from other cultures and incorporate them into their care. The purpose of this paper is to give a summary of “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” and compare that information with the current theories and models discussing cultural competence.