Cultural Practices of the Nacirema Term Paper

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 1+
  • Subject: Medicine
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #15890997
  • Related Topics: Medicine, Canadian Culture

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Like the "box or chest which is built into the wall" ("Body Ritual among the Nacirema, p. 2) in Nacirema homes, Americans spend a great deal of time taking prescription drugs and over the counter remedies into and out of their medicine cabinets. For Americans, these medicine cabinets often have mirrors, a help in scrutinizing their ever-imperfect bodies. The faces and teeth of Americans are washed and brushed in the font (sink) below the medicine cabinet, just as the Nacirema "mingles different sorts of holy water in the font, and proceeds with a brief rite of ablution" ("Body Rituals of the Nacirema").

The "holy mouth men"("Body Rituals of the Nacirema," p. 2) are very similar, in this author's opinion, to American dentists. Just as the Nacirema believe all love, esteem, and social relationships will desert them if they do not attend carefully to various tedious and often painful mouth rituals, Americans are very similar. So horrified are Americans of their own "holy mouth men" (dentists), however, that some Americans (unlike the more fastidious Nacirema, no doubt!) actually cancel these twice-yearly necessary appointments more often than not, so as to put off this ritual tooth and gum deep-cleaning for as long as possible.

Just as the Nacirema medicine men have an imposing temple, a "lapisto" ("Body Rituals of the Nacirema," p. 3), American medicine men (i.e., doctors) have similarly imposing temples, hospitals, to which the very sick are taken, or, sometimes, where the merely temporarily sick or severely injured are taken in case of emergencies, in order to (Hopefully, at least) get well again. It is truly amazing, when reflecting on all of these numerous similarities, to realize that virtually no dissimilarities at all exist, between the Nacirema and Americans themselves. Maybe, in the opinion of this author, both cultures are simply turned around, and should be set straight in order to more fully enjoy live and all it has to offer.

Works Cited

Miner, Horace. "Body Rituals of the Nacirema." American Anthropological

Association. Retrieved March 19, 2005, from: http://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/miner.html.

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Miner, Horace. "Body Rituals of the Nacirema." American Anthropological

Association. Retrieved March 19, 2005, from: http://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/miner.html.

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