Body rituals of the nacirema essay

In order to appreciate other cultures you need to submerge yourself in that culture and be conscious of every aspect of the culture to fully grasp an understanding of it. Instead of saying outright that the way previous research had been carried out was misrepresenting entire populations of people, he decided to take an anthropological look at a well known culture from an outside perspective and show how easily its ideas and principles could be misunderstood when taken out of it own social context.

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This reading was meaningful and thought provoking to me because instead of a monotonous essay preaching about the importance of cultural relativism when analyzing different cultures, Miner was able to make his point with a slight mocking and sarcastic undertone. I found it provocative and compelling that he was able to interpret and criticize the absurdities of his own culture and provide insight on the importance of perspective in studying any culture. Miner, Horace Body Ritual among the Nacirema. American Anthropologist Body Ritual Among the Nacirema Summary. Accessed October 18, This is because different people have different cultures binding and guiding them.

Therefore, the diversity can be surprising for an outsider. However, for individuals in the community, it is just their normal routine.

The Nacirema Revisited by Jeffrey Kahn :: SSRN

This essay uses sociological imagination to discuss the present American culture using the body rituals on the Nicarema. The Nacirema people exhibit unusual practices, which make them extremely different from other cultural groups. They are one of the cultural groups which can be considered to be extreme in their behavior. More to their extreme behavior is their ethnocentrism. Despite the changing world around them, these people keep to their old traditions and customs. They behave as if the other cultures are irrelevant to them.

Cultural Relativism and Its Importance in Understanding Michael Vick

They do not even consider their behaviors to be extreme. This may seem strange to some people, but to some, it seems intriguing. However, if someone does not get entertained by diversity, a tour to these people cannot be a pleasing one. The Nacirema is a group in North-America. To this day the origin of the Nacirema has not yet been well defined. However, the research done shows that they may have originated from the east. This is a fact that the people of this cultural group does not believe.

They believe that they were originated by a cultural hero.


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Notgnigsaw, the cultural hero, was believed to have engaged in acts of heroism. According to them, he had two great feasts which had incredible strength. Most cultural groups had such beliefs. The uniqueness of this group in the matter is the fact that they still believe it strongly. In the modern world, such views rarely exist. However, the conservativeness of the Nacirema does not allow them to throw away such beliefs. Most of the Nacirema people have their lives focused on economic pursuits.

Therefore, they are hardworking people. This essay is a great satire on the American culture.

It is very interesting and useful for those, who are fond of anthropology. The main purpose of the essay was to describe some rituals in the USA from the point of view of outsider. Any culture consists if the rituals and those rituals determine this cultural. Social solidarity includes these rituals and values.


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Horace Miner was sure that rituals are the part of society, and the sociology science has to learn them. Every culture or society has its own model of perception of the world. The author suggests an example, that in Spain the main concept is based on the courage , in Japan — face, in New Guinea — pollution by female, and in Nacirema culture — the body attitudes. The author considered that if some customs are not similar to the others, then they are worth talking about.

Essay about Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

In the essay Horace Miner wrote about unpopular tribe, which situated somewhere in the North America. The author comments that the described group is very similar to Americans in the s. We are talking about the well-developed and successful tribe.

Exposing the Nacirema: A Perspective of Social Rituals

They had a successful market economy. From ancient times the human body considered to be ugly and succumb to various diseases. Every family had a special sanctuary in houses, where they made the sacred rites. It is important to know, that the rituals they made were not well-known, they were kept in secret for the time the children grow up.

source link Horace Miner affirmed that he visited this tribe, became a good friend for those people. And the essay is about these secret rituals. Body ritual among the nacirema is not useful for only great scientists. Some teachers prefer to start the learning the subject of anthropology with their students just by reading this essay. In this essay everybody can read and understand the main ideas of human similarity and also the main differences between the nations. There are also some videos on YouTube about the nacirema.

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