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Module 1 Resources


The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman: This book chronicles the struggles of a Hmong refugee family and their interactions with the health care system in Merced, California. On the most basic level, the book tells the story of a girl Lia Lee, who is diagnosed with severe epilepsy, and the cultural conflict that obstructs her treatment. Broader themes include Hmong customs and culture, American involvement in and responsibility for the war in Laos, and the problems of immigration, especially assimilation. An example of medical anthropology, the book has been cited by medical journals and lecturers as an argument for greater cultural competence, and often assigned to medical and pharmaceutic students in the US. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. (Excerpt taken from Wikipedia) and

The Loudest Duck by Laura Liswood: A business fable that explains why organizations need to move beyond the old-style diversity efforts to actually benefit from difference. In today's modern workplaces with their many different types of people, cultural and personal differences can be challenges-whether you're a team-member or a business leader. Different cultures teach different values and we carry those values throughout adulthood and into the office environment. Understanding the cultural and gender viewpoints of our colleagues is a major key to healthy, conflict-free work environments. The Loudest Duck uses an entertaining story to share important lessons about why diversity efforts are bound to fail unless we really understand how we unconsciously respond to difference and how to move to beyond it.

Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen: Freedom is both the end and most efficient means of sustaining economic life and the key to securing the general welfare of the world's entire population. Releasing the idea of individual freedom from association with any particular historical, intellectual, political, or religious tradition, Sen clearly demonstrates its current applicability and possibilities.


The Gods Must Be Crazy: A Sho in the Kalahari Desert encounters technology for the first time - in the shape of a Coke bottle. He takes it back to his people, and they use it for many tasks. The people start to fight over it, so he decides to return it to the God - where he thinks it came from. Meanwhile, we are introduced to a school teacher assigned to a small village, a despotic revolutionary, and a clumsy biologist. This movie shows similarities and differences in culture through a different perspective.

The First Grader: In a small, remote mountain top primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children are jostling for a chance for the free education newly promised by the Kenyan government. One new applicant causes astonishment when he knocks on the door of the school. He is Maruge (Litondo), an old Mau Mau veteran in his eighties, who is desperate to learn to read at this late stage of his life. He fought for the liberation of his country and now feels he must have the chance of an education so long denied-even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside six-year-olds.

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