Aisha Reed Professor Navarette Sociology 10, 11 February 2013 Nacirema is American It is very difficult to think outside the box and let go of one’s cultural norms. It is very easy to point the finger in disgust and fall victim of ethnocentrism when it comes to an unfamiliar culture. The article Body Ritual among the Nacirema, by Horace Miner, brings to light a group of North American people, named Nacirema, that culture includes the obsession over rituals that are done to the human body. These rituals might seem different but try and take a culturally relative perspective and ask yourself, “Why?” Nacirema’s culture is highly developed and they are extremely committed to reaching economic goals. A substantial amount of money and time are spent on ritual deeds that are suppose to improve the appearance and health of the body.
This culture is one of many cultures who put there faith in past on beliefs and go to seemingly horrific measures carrying them out. This article was frightening as well as uplifting to me. What was frightening to me is the fact that in the U.S these disturbing rituals take place. As I already stated as an outsider it is very difficult trying to make sense of these customs in terms of my society. I was being quite ethnocentric.
Brenda Crowder Sociology Essay The article “Body Rituals Among the Nacirema” was written by Horace Miner in 1956. His purpose of the article was to describe Naciremas ways of living and how other cultures might view these rituals as weird or unusual but only because its not the way they are used to living. This article gave me quite a shocked when I realized that “Nacirema” is American spelled backwards and it was referring to Americans culture. I was surprised when I found out who the Nacirema people were because they seem like bad people and as if there ways of living were cruel and unheard of. I guess this was Miners way of expressing how other cultures look and think of Americans.
It’s crazy to think how we, as Americans, could read something that so thoroughly describes our own daily lives and the society in which we are surrounded by and feel sorry for the culture that Miner so cleverly wrote about, without even realizing that it is our own. This tribe focuses mainly on their own image and goes through many rituals to keep their body as healthy, clean and perfect as possible. They
John Teems January 14, 2009 Answers to: “Body Ritual among the Nacirema” 1. My reaction to this (our) culture (when put in a cryptic, unbiased viewpoint such as it has been in this passage) is that we as a whole are a very particular and at times very strange culture. Taking into account the sadistic nature of some of our customs (i.e. body waxing, shaving, hair curling, tattooing, piercing); it makes me think “Why do we choose willingly to do these things to ourselves”? How did we evolve into this self-absorbed, vein, and sometimes self loathing people?
Sociology 9/13/13 My Analysis of “Body Ritual Among The Nacirema” Horace Miner writes about the bizarre tribal practices of the Nacirema in “Body Ritual Among The Nacirema.” While reading through his report it becomes ever more aware that he is inadvertently speaking abut the American people. Nacirema is American spelled backwards. Miner takes things we do in our every day lives that are accepted by society, and turns them around and calls the rituals. These rituals are talked about in such a way that makes the reader think the Nacirema people are crazy, almost making the foreigners seam animalistic. When in real life they were doing things such as going to the doctor and getting there teeth cleaned.
Wake Up America. We’re driving towards Disaster James Howard Kunstler’s essay “Wake up America. We’re driving towards Disaster” is an analytical narrative where Kunstler examines the current state of America based on the habits and beliefs in American citizens. Kunstler believes the current state of America is terrible and is only going to get worst. Kunstler’s argument is in order to avoid disaster in America we must rethink and reorganize the way we live our daily lives.
I wish more people looked at the world with the same eyes as Cohen does. I think the society that we live in makes it hard for us to just open up and teach each other about our cultures. If it were that easy, this world would be a friendlier and better place. My three thoughtful questions for class discussion are; Have you ever felt embarrassed of your race because of the media? Do you think that you are labeled and looked down upon because of your race?
According to the article, Native American mascots bring more negativity than the luck they are supposed to bring, “…(1) they [mascots] reflect and reinforce stereotypes, (2) they harm Native Americans, and (3) Native Americans do not have control over them,” (IMHTNA). Native Americans are already stereotyped against by having “red skin and feathers in their hair.” Seeing this exact image portrayed by many school mascots reinforces these stereotypes and keeps people thinking close-mindedly. However, it’s not just recently begun to be a problem; Native Americans were treated harshly back in the 1800s as well. The United States government was cruel to Native Americans in more ways than one, “The soldiers attack your villages and kill your women, children, and old people,” (Lakota). In many cases, the United States government had agreed and signed a treaty with the Native Americans, but then had broken the treaty soon after.
The Case for Contamination Kwame Anthony Appiah wrote an article for the New York Times called, “The Case for Contamination”. In my opinion this article is about moral decisions, globalization, and diversity throughout the culture. I agree with Appiah, and I too argue that we as human beings are allowed the same respect and concern from a global standpoint. Additionally, there has certainly been added burden to modernize the world to become equal. I found it to be so true when Appiah stated that “Talk of authenticity now just amounts to telling other people what they ought to value in their own traditions”.