One World, Many Cultures

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1997-09-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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This truly global multicultural reader features almost 60 contemporary selections by internationally acclaimed authors from 22 countries. These compelling readings explore cultural differences in relation to race, class, gender, and nationality, challenging readers to compare their experiences with those of others in radically different cultural circumstances. Introduces readers to the culture and people of other countries through the eyes of someone from that culture. Family life, adolescent relationships, gender roles, work and the environment, race and class conflicts, social and political issues, " the other, " and customs, rituals, and values from the perspectives of authors from 22 countries. " " General interest in global issues / other cultures.

Table of Contents

Preface xv
Introduction 1(15)
1 The Family in Different Cultures
Gayle Pemberton
"Antidisestablishmentarianism" In this engaging, irreverent autobiographical account, the African-American author tells how her "no-nonsense" maternal grandmother taught her to think for herself.
Boris Yeltsin
"Childhood in Russia" The first democratically elected leader of Russia reveals incidents from his childhood that shaped his independent antiauthoritarian outlook
Rigoberta Menchu
"Birth Ceremonies" A Young Quiche woman describes the ceremonies designed to integrate a newborn baby into the Guatemalan Indian community
Nicholas Bornoff
"The Marriage Go-Round" The extent to which societal control of courtship and marriage in modern-day Japan still prevails is the subject of this informative account
Serena Nanda
"Arranging a Marriage in India" A researcher discusses the negotiations and expectations that govern arranged marriages in India
Shirley Saad
"Amina" [Short Story] "You are still young, Amina. God has given you four daughters, maybe the next four will be boys." A Lebanese woman who has given birth to only girls is apprehensive that her husband will take another wife in order to have a son
Pat Mora
"Remembering Lobo" The unconventional behavior of the author's aunt is the subject of this thoughtful reminiscence of Hispanic life.
Colin Turnbull
"The Mbuti Pygmies" The importance of rituals in shaping the behavior of children in Mbuti society can clearly be seen in the games they play
John Cheever
"Reunion" [Short Story] "The last time I saw my father was in Grand Central Station." A father's boorish behavior ruins a much anticipated get together.
Connecting Cultures
2 Turning Points
Christy Brown
"The Letter 'A'" The Dublin-born author recaptures the moment when he first communicated signs of intelligence, despite having been diagnosed as mentally defective due to cerebral palsy
Tepilit Ole Saitoti
"The Initiation of a Maasai Warrior" A Maasai warrior describes the rituals that initiated him into manhood
Nawal El Saadawi
"Circumcision of Girls" An Egyptian physician and leading feminist speaks out against the continuing practice of female circumcision in the Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt
Hanan al-Shaykh
"The Persian Carpet" [Short Story] "In confusion I looked at the Persian carpet spread on the floor, then gave my mother a long look." This story from Lebanon tells how the reappearance of a carpet thought to have been stolen permanently alters a young young girl's relationship with her mother
N. Scott Momaday
"The Names" A celebrated Kiowa author recalls a crucial moment when he was suspended between life and death
Sucheng Chan
"You're Short, Besides!" The Chinese-American author's humor and courage in confronting and overcoming personal infirmities emerge from this account
Dino Buzzati
"The Falling Girl" [Short Story] "Seeing these things, Marta hopelessly leaned out over the railing and let herself go." An Italian author blends social criticism with surrealism in this parable of the attraction of social status, acceptance, and wealth to Italy's post-World War II generation
Kjell Westo
"Melba, Mallinen and me" [Short Story] "Until Mallinen arrived, my status was always in doubt." Born in Sweden and raised in Finland, the narrator describes how the arrival of a protector saves him from the school bully
Connecting Cultures
3 How Culture Shapes Gender Roles
Kim Chernin
"The Flesh and the Devil" A perceptive social critic draws on personal experiences in this indictment of cultural pressures that tyrannize women into losing weight to attain an ideal form.
Judith Ortiz Cofer
"The Myth of the Latin Woman" The author reveals how cross-cultural misunderstandings led her to be stereotyped as a "hot-blooded" Latina
Sembene Ousmane
"Her Three Days" [Short Story] "Noumbe remembered only too well that when she was newly married she had usurped the second wife's three days." In this story set in Mali, we see the plight of a "third wife" waiting for her husband
Deborah Tannen
"Talk in the Intimate Relationship" A linguist analyzes the reasons men and women misunderstand each other
Lennard J. Davis
"Visualizing the Disabled Body" An incisive cultural observer explores the paradox of why the truncated Venus de Milo is perceived as beautiful while a human counterpart might be shunned
Andrew Sullivan
"What Are Homosexuals For?" The editor of the New Republic explores the personal impact of having declared his homosexuality
Rosa Liksom
"One Night Stands" [Short Story] "They claimed it was my civic duty to reveal the identity of the child's father." An observer of the post-punk contemporary urban scene in Finland creates an indelible portrait of alienation
Connecting Cultures
4 How Work Creates Identity
Lesley Hazleton
"Confessions of a Fast Women" The author describes the challenges and rewards of being the only woman apprentice in an auto repair shop
Camara Laye
"The Village Goldsmith" The author's respect for his father's vocation as an accomplished goldsmith pervades this autobiographical account of a young boy in Guinea
Anton Vassilievich
"Radiation Expert" A radiation expert flown in immediately after the Chernobyl disaster describes the extraordinary measures taken to cope with the dangerously high levels of radioactivity
Mark Salzman
"Lessons" A young American martial arts student describes his unusual apprenticeship to one of China's greatest traditional boxers in exchange for English lessons.
Kon Krailet
"In the Mirror" [Short Story] "'Have you found a job yet?' How can he possibly tell his mother about the kind of work that he has found?" A sex show performer in Bangkok must conceal his vocation from his family in the countryside
Studs Terkel
"Ron Maydon" A perceptive sociologist explores the problematic status of a Mexican-American worker who believes that Hispanics serve as a "buffer" between the Anglo and African-American communities
R. K. Narayan
"Misguided 'Guide'" The distinguished Indian novelist offers a rueful appraisal of an attempt to transform one of his novels into a popular movie
Moacyr Scliar
"A Brief History of Capitalism" [Short Story] "My father was a communist and a car mechanic." The predicament of a true believer in communism is the subject of this ironic story by a Brazilian writer
Connecting Cultures
5 Class Conflicts
Roland Barthes
"Ornamental Cookery" The father of semiotics analyzes the depiction of food in popular magazines
Jo Goodwin Parker
"What Is Poverty?" The author spells out the answer in this uncompromising account of what it is like to be poor in rural southern America
Mahdokht Kashkuli
"The Button" [Short Story] "I had cocked my ears to hear who that 'one less mouth to feed' was." This poignant story describes the circumstances that lead a family to place one of its children in an orphanage in contemporary Iran
Alonso Salazar
"The Lords of Creation" The testimony of a teenage contract killer and an interview with his mother offer unparalleled insight into the world of Medellin, Colombia's drug capital
Jamaica Kincaid
"A Small Place" A native of Antigua compels us to see tourists through the eyes of those whose countries they visit
Mary Crow Dog
Richard Erdoes
"Civilize Them with a Stick" An outspoken advocate for Native-American rights graphically depicts the racism she experienced as a young student at a government-run boarding school
Constance Classen
"The Odour of the Other" An eminent scholar explores the historical and cross-cultural symbolism of smell
Catherine Lim
"Paper" [Short Story] "Once the notion of a big beautiful house had lodged itself in his imagination, Tay Soon nurtured it until it became the consuming passion of his life." The lure of easy money draws a middle-class couple into the frenzy of the Singapore Stock Exchange
Connecting Cultures
6 Power and Politics
Golda Meir
"We Have Our State" The former prime minister of Israel describes her feelings of elation at the ceremony marking the formation of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948
Albert Camus
"The Guest" [Short Story] "That man's stupid crime revolted him, but to hand him over was contrary to honor." In this classic tale by the Nobel Prize-winning author, a Frenchman living in Algeria must choose between loyalty to the European community or compassion toward an Arab prisoner he must deliver for execution
Slavenka Drakulic
"The Balkan Express" During a journey to Zagreb a Croatian journalist reflects on the horrors of the Serbo-Croatian war
Ngugi wa Thiong'O
"Decolonising the Mind" The author discusses the damaging psychological and cultural effects of being forbidden to speak or write one's native language under British colonial domination of Kenya
Jon Swain
"The Eyes of Vietnam" A riveting eyewitness account by a journalist reveals the tragic fate of many Vietnamese boat people
Nien Cheng
"The Red Guards" A survivor of the purge inflicted by the Red Guards describes the events of a day in Shanghai at the beginning of China's Cultural Revolution
Feng Jicai
"The Tall Woman and Her Short Husband" [Short Story] "Ever since this couple moved in, the old residents had eyed them curiously." A Chinese writer weaves an unforgettable tale of petty jealousies and political enmity during the Cultural Revolution
Panos Ioannides
"Gregory" [Short Story] "How the devil could you kill such a friend?" Based on a true incident that occurred during the Cypriot liberation struggle against the British, this compelling story takes the reader into the mind of a soldier ordered to shoot a prisoner who had saved his life and become his friend
Connecting Cultures
7 Strangers in a Strange Land
Edward Said
"Reflections on Exile" A professor of comparative literature makes the case that the condition of exile in this age of the refugee, displaced person, and mass immigration is the central defining feature of our times
William M. Kephart
"The Gypsies" The fascinating and enigmatic lifestyle of this mysterious group is the subject of this thought-provoking analysis
Joan Didion
"Miami: The Cuban Presence" An American essayist explores the important role Cuban immigrants have played in revitalizing Miami
Le Ly Hayslip
"Yearning to Breathe Free" The Vietnamese author relates the challenges she faced in adapting to her new American husband, family, and culture
Luis Alberto Urrea
"Border Story" The survival of the human spirit in harrowing conditions on the United States-Mexican border is portrayed in this haunting account
Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel
"Individualism as an American Cultural Value" A scholar raised in Thailand takes a critical look at differences between Thai and American cultural values
Gloria Anzaldua
"Cervicide" [Short Story] "In the shed behind the corral, where they'd hidden the fawn, Prieta found the hammer." A Chicana poet tells the poignant story of a Mexican-American family on the Texas border that is forced to kill its pet deer
Connecting Cultures
8 The Role Customs Play in Different Cultures
Nick Fiddes
"The Power of Meat" A social anthropologist offers a provocative study of the symbolism of meat eating
Napoleon A. Chagnon
"Doing Fieldwork among the Yanomamo" An anthropologist describes the "culture shock" he experienced during the years he lived among the Yanomamo, a warlike tribe of Indians settled along the Amazon River in Brazil
Gretel Ehrlich
"To Live in Two Worlds" An ex-urbanite who moved to Wyoming describes an occasion when she was invited to witness the Kiowa Sun Dance, the holiest religious ceremony of this Plains tribe
Raymonde Carroll
"Home" Drawing on her own multicultural experiences, the author analyzes the many ways in which the French and Americans misinterpret each other's culturally conditioned customs
Alison Lurie
"The Language of Clothes" The Pulitzer Prize-winning author addresses the social symbolism of clothes and body decorations
David R. Counts
"Too Many Bananas" An anthropologist doing fieldwork in New Guinea has to rethink many of his cultural assumptions regarding reciprocal exchanges of food and goods
Octavio Paz
"The Day of the Dead" The former Mexican ambassador to India and winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for literature offers a trenchant analysis of the importance of fiestas to the Mexican national psyche
Nabil Gorgy
"Cairo Is a Small City" [Short Story] "So it was that the Engineer Adil Salim fell in love with the beautiful Bedouin girl Salma." This story relates how a successful engineer who prides himself on his shrewdness is manipulated through his desire for a Bedouin girl into paying an "eye for an eye."
Connecting Cultures
9 The Unseen World
Gino Del Guercio
"The Secrets of Haiti's Living Dead" Wade Davis, a Harvard ethnobotanist whose research was the basis of the book (and subsequent 1988 movie) The Serpent and the Rainbow, investigates how the creation of zombies by voodoo secret societies acts as a form of social control in deterring crimes against the community
Leslie Marmon Silko
"Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective" The profound differences between Laguna Pueblo and Christian views of the natural and spiritual world are illustrated through stories in this essay.
Bessie Head
"Looking for a Rain God" [Short Story] "There was," he said, "a certain rain god who accepted only the sacrifice of the bodies of children." A Botswanian writer tells the story of a local incident in which a family reverts to an outlawed ritual in the in the face of a seven-year drought.
Aung San Suu Kyi
"My Country and People" The human rights activist and winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize relates the pervading influence of Buddhism on all aspects of Burmese culture
Abioseh Nicol
"Life Is Sweet at Kumansenu" [Short Story] "Bola could not overcome vague suspicions about her son's secret visit. Perhaps it was because mystery had marked his life from the beginning." The tribal belief that spirits can return by reentering the womb to be born again underlies this eerie tale of a son who inexplicably appears to bid his mother goodbye.
Naguib Mahfouz
"Half a Day" [Short Story] "How could all of this have happened in half a day, between early morning and sunset?" This intriguing parable by an Egyptian writer depicts symbolically the universal experience of the passing of time.
Carol Spindel
"Blessings" The integral function of blessings in everyday village life in Cote d'Ivoire is the subject of this thoughtful appraisal
"Deliverance" [Short Story] "Today when he came home from the shrine in his house he saw Dukhi the Untouchable tanner sitting there with a bundle of grass." One of the greatest writers of modern Indian literature spins a tale of pathos and hypocrisy
Connecting Cultures
Rhetorical Index 647(6)
Geographical Index 653(4)
Acknowledgments 657(6)
Pronunciation Key to Names and Places 663(2)
Index of Authors and Titles 665

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