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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,…… [Read More]
ell Curve and Correlational Research
Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, authors of The ell Curve, have received criticism for their inability to establish the "truth" in their research of intelligence. Rather than using objective tests to determine if their findings were valid (e.g., control groups and follow-up studies; varying conditions; factoring in margin for error), they assumed that their research findings were accurate based on one premise - the IQ scores of students after 1950 as opposed to the scores of those in earlier years. They offer graphs and tables to "prove" that intelligence determines social status more than inherited status (i.e., one's parents being of high social standing). ut although they seem to have definitive evidence, their method was flawed because they failed to take into account that research methods are not the same in this present day as they were 20 or 30 years ago. Additionally, although…… [Read More]
The Nacirema occupy a broad and diverse geographic zone between Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Their highly developed market economy belies, or perhaps informs, the evolution of elaborate body rituals. The body rituals of the Nacirema are diverse and usually gendered. The underlying assumptions of the Nacirema body rituals are that the human form in its natural, unadulterated or unadorned state, is inherently profane, impure, and aesthetically unpleasing. Therefore, the Nacirema set up shrines in their home. The shrines contain magical serums, lotions, and potions with mysterious properties. Wealthy Nacirema may have several shrines, elaborately designed, and many set aside special shrines for individual members of the family. Less well-to-do Nacirema may have only one body ritual shrine in the home, shared among all family members. Nacirema also have public body ritual shrines located in important areas of social or political importance, including the places in the hubs of their…… [Read More]
Cultural Observation of Dress
Why do all humans engage in the act of dressing the body? Consider how dress relates to both the physical and the social needs of the wearer.
Everyone dresses according to social factors and to make themselves more physically appealing to other. This helps them to be seen as hip and enhance their appearance. These variables ensure that the social and individual needs of the person are met. This is when they will have greater amounts of self-confidence. (Eicher, 2008)
f all humans dress themselves for the same basic reasons, why do we look so different from each other? Consider the influences of culture, age, gender, and other factors that distinguish people from one another.
People look different based upon their cultural background, age and gender. These elements are combined together to provide the person with a unique sense of style. This is used to make…… [Read More]
Culture and Sociology of the Nacerima
Body Rituals Among the Nacirema," by Horace Miner is an article that offers a social look at the American lifestyle. The author steps outside of the American culture and describes how somebody unfamiliar to the culture might describe it. This manages to open the reader's eyes to the fact that the American culture can be seen as just as strange as unfamiliar foreign cultures. The article is based around the concept that 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" (Miner). The culture described is based on rituals that attempt to prevent this journey towards debility and disease. The norms, institutions and material goods described are all based on health aspects. Three of these that illustrate this are teeth brushing as a norm, the hospital as…… [Read More]
Instead of verbally communicating with a live human being, people would rather press some buttons and receive the answer digitally.
The body ritual of the Nacirema demonstrates the unusual practices of certain cultures. Within this group of people, they are obsessed with keeping their bodies clean and pure of disease. As a result of this infatuation, most of their entire lives revolve around their cleaning rituals. This group of people demonstrates the impact that culture, ritual and mythology play in human sociology.
Social control is an ineffective means to justify tyrannical practices within government and other institutional forces. Propaganda is a tool to help implement this frame of mind from the controllers to the people being controlled. Through intense effort and plotting, certain aspects of the human condition are exploited by masters of human relations to help cultivate a willing and uninformed society.
Fear is the…… [Read More]
Because of this piece's genre, Process Analysis, and more specifically as supposedly observed by an anthropologist, Miner gives authority to his words so as to convince the reader that the Nacirema really do behave to such uncivilized extremes.
How does the 13th Warrior approach "otherness?" This film actually takes on the theme from three directions. Interactions between the main character, Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan (hereafter referred to as Ibn) and the Norse tribe he encounters serve as two approaches to "otherness." Likewise, the tribe's suspicion of their enemy, beings who appear to consume without a trace anyone who ventures into the ominous mist, represents the fear of the unknown that is the catalyst for damaging "otherness" perception.
The story is told from Ibn's point-of-view. Following his banishment from his homeland, he decides to fight alongside the tribe to defeat their enemy. In so doing, he ultimately realizes that fear is the…… [Read More]
Newborn babies are given "a mile hallucinogenic drug, tsentsema" (84), in the form of an uncooked leaf from the tsentsema plant. The idea is to help the baby "see" an arutam soul, when the baby is under the influence of the tsentsema plant. The belief is that boys need them but girls don't, and boys are not born with an arutam, so they must obtain them along their growth pattern. The arutam is believed to give supernatural powers, and helps a person survive through the lifetime
Meanwhile, Daniel Steel writes in the journal Ethnohistory (Steel 1999) that technology has affected the Jivaro culture (albeit in a different way that technology has affected Mexico). In fact, the Jivaro have been known for their skills in warfare, which relates to their need to protect their communities and gardens from intruders who would do them harm. hile the violence against women in Ciudad…… [Read More]
Culture's Impact On Healthcare
Culture: Midwestern, (White Female)
The following are the top 5 characteristics of my culture:
Conservative political values. May cause a closed mine and limit the imagination. Political lines are dogmatic and prevent free thinking.
Family orientated. This bias may cause the individual to be too loyal on one's family. It is very difficult to see our families for who they truly are.
Open minded: Too much open-mindedness may lead to foolish mistakes and jumping on any bandwagon that may come along.
Love of the outdoors and social activities. Too much of this behavior, may lead to not refining the indoor skills that are important in life.
Trusting to new experiences. Too many new experiences may lead to becoming ungrounded.
The Midwestern culture is very conservative and many within the culture base their decisions on popular notions and ideas. Health care to Midwestern culture…… [Read More]