Body Ritual Among The Nacirema Summary

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Analysis of Riverside City Campus "The fundamental belief underlying the whole system appears to be that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease. Incarcerated in such a body, man's only hope is to avert these characteristics through the use of the powerful influences of ritual and ceremony." This was said by Bromislaw Malinowski, a British anthropologist, in Horace Miner's essay," Body Ritual among the Nacirema." In the essay, Miner shows the reader how an outsider views American culture, through sociological concepts of ethnocentrism and values. James M. Henslin, defines "ethnocentrism" as "the use of one's own culture as a yardstick for judging the ways of other individuals or societies, generally…show more content…
For example, when people dress attractively at school, they're symbolized as beautiful and tend to get a lot of attention from the opposite sex because they're beautiful and are attending college. In contrast, if a person is dressed ugly they're characterized as unattractive, but may be judged as smart. Girls wear makeup and fake eyelashes to feel attractive, because the images of women that society reveres as beautiful often wear these things. For example: models, billboards, magazines are a great example of how being skinny, attractive, big boobs and booty identify a women as attractive. Values describe what's desirable or undesirable, and being smart and beautiful are important values at college. "Body Rituals among the Nacirema" and Riverside City College have two sociological concepts in common: ethnocentrism and values. The values that we perceive are acquired within our culture and make us distinguish what is beautiful or right or good and what's not. Ethnocentrism is commonly used within subcultures, but through cultural relativism, we can try to avoid the criticism of other cultures. Just as we know what beautiful and normal is in our cultural, so do others feel the same way about theirs; we just have to see beyond ours and learn from

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