Sociological Perspective on “Body Rituals of the Nacirema”

“Body Rituals among the Nacirema” is surely an article written by simply Horace Miner in regards in order to a group regarding people, the Nacirema, in addition, to being able to their everyday functions or rituals. Miner relates your culture, practices, values, and also beliefs of your seemingly exotic along with strange tribe. He vividly as well as descriptively describes behaviors along with actions which are interpreted as unusual and also strange. The Particular tribe Miner depicts seems primal and also uncivilized, but somewhat familiar.

They really are generally a “North American team living in the territory between your Canadian Creel the actual Yaqui and also Tarahumara involving Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak in the Antilles” (Miner). This particular location will become the united States associated with America and upon recognizing the actual location, your reader starts in order to become cognizant of the existence involving an ulterior message. Miner’s depiction draws us within but shortly, we realize he could be referring to be able to American society; read backward, Nacirema spells ‘American.’ Instead of describing the far-away along with exotic tribe, because the reader 1st expects, the particular article describes really ‘normal’ aspects of American life, such as dental hygiene along with medicine.

The use regarding language similar to “mouth-rite,” “holy-mouth-men,” along with “medicine men” frames these aspects inside an extremely abnormal way. Miner will an exceptional occupation associated with disguising the particular American culture as ‘Nacirema.’ once unveiling this disguise, many references can easily be observed and the article is interpreted in a whole new way; regarding example, the particular “cleansing shrine” as the washroom, “magical potions” as medicine, and also “lati PSO” as hospital. This article is written as a possible observation in American society, however, could potentially be generalized as ‘North American’ practices. Your article demonstrates that will attitudes about the body use a widespread effect on many social institutions.

Many with the rituals that we’ve throughout north America involve manipulating our image and this value contradicts the enlightened as well as rational creatures we sometimes imagine ourselves for you to be. Miner efficiently convinces the particular reader with the somewhat ridiculous nature regarding (North) America’s obsession using health insurance and visual appeal.

This will be accomplished through provoking viewers to form an outside opinion associated with on their own just before realizing they’re their particular subject. His analysis portrays himself and the reader as superior, civilized beings studying this tribe, which in turn produces a length and also differentiation ultimately causing comparison. Through describing American culture in the perspective regarding an external observer, we could understand how a various perspective or standpoint can easily perceive our rituals as very strange. Since such, Miner’s article could be seen as speaking to how other cultures could view our own, and also exhibits how ethnocentrism can affect the means you notice and also interpret culture. Miner makes use of his style associated with writing for you to prove his apparent point in which Americans tend to be ethnocentric.

Furthermore, a bad tone of the actual article displays how this ethnocentrism can lead to the judgment of other, unknown cultures. The resonating point for me all through this post is Miner’s achievement in translating Peter Berger’s concept in the sociological perspective, creating the reader see the strange in the familiar. By Simply pondering of those familiar rituals as strange, a brand new perspective can be formed along with our regular, ‘normal’ globe may be seen inside a fresh, distinctive way. Importantly, the actual sociological imagination starts to engage and also develop even as recapture the particular capability being astonished by simply that which you normally consider with regard to granting. This particular broadening of perspective and just how we look at ourselves can lead us to feel beyond our standpoint and also better comprehend a person of a distinct background. On initial reading, the actual rituals/institutions described have a familiarity, but in everyday life, we’ve grown to become able to be socialized consequently as we do not begin to see the odd and often illogical actions we perform.

As Miner begins, “the anthropologist is becoming consequently familiar using the diversity of ways where each person behaves in similar circumstances he isn’t apt to be surprised at even the most exotic customs.” I believe Horace Miner wrote this piece for you to touch in just about all of those points; to make us begin to determine the familiar as strange, to develop the sociological imagination, also to deliver awareness for the ethnocentrism in our culture/society. The Actual specific audience might end up being fellow anthropologists, sociologists, scholars/ students, or perhaps the general public. Miner challenges all North Americans to look from by themselves in the new light, to check critically upon our own society. He is beneficial throughout conveying his messages via his distinctive approach to the idea, along with the power to re-arrange our believed process. He generally seems to challenge just how cultures, and American culture inside particular, may happen in order to be formerly represented as well as misrepresented. Furthermore, the article breaks the particular barrier of viewing American culture as ‘normal’ and that will that other people could be measured against; he breaks the particular barrier involving ethnocentrism.

Another cause for you to remark in these factors could are already in order to make an effort to stimulate better, less biased analysis and inspire colleagues, students etc. to consider the existence regarding perspective as well as potential with regard to ethnocentrism in every that they do. I find the article relevant, personally, as trainees studying sociology and also the business, so that as a new North American. Our society is actually more as well as more culturally diverse, along with international interaction (whether in business, academics or perhaps elsewhere) will be turning into the commonplace. Therefore, it is increasingly essential to find out to step outside of our own accustomed perspective and also to become aware of others we interact with, as well as of our own biases, viewpoints, and barriers.

The clever means Miner provokes looking at the actual familiar as strange lead me think about the many ways we view the particular ‘familiar, ’ having turned out to be able to be accustomed to our social norms and also values. I have got begun to see these in a new way, and can further keep in your current mind the particular sociological perspective along with presence associated with potential ethnocentric views when evaluating situations. We naturally look at additional cultures or even societies through the lens of our own personal but when we are capable of realizing our really own culture – our social context – your drinking water in which we swim, we can develop our relationships and interactions along with those using their own company waters.


  4. Nacirema article -rituals-horace-miner/

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