There are a few points the author is trying to get across here. They mainly concentrate on body rituals Miner, 1956. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. But in all actuality, it's what us humans do everyday and never think twice of it. Natural reproductive functions are similarly distorted. Who would dare compare the United States to the low level of uncivilized culture? He disguises the medicine chest as the main device in the shrine, a bundle of hog hairs on a stick as a toothbrush, and magical Miner also states things that make it a lot less obvious that the Nacirema are American.
The point has, in fact, been expressed with respect to clan organization by Murdock 1949: 71. Speaking Culturally Explorations in Social Communication. The article, Body Ritual among the Nacirema, relates to many core aspects of sociology, including culture, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, and conflict theory Our culture is the foundation of who we essentially are in life. Lastly, the article by Horace Miner puts to the fore the issue of culture conflict. Bathing and excretory acts are performed only in the secrecy of the household shrine, where they are ritualized as part of the body-rites.
In fact, the wealth of the owners of the houses is often measured in terms of the number of such ritual shrine rooms in a house. It was reported to me that the ritual consists of inserting a small bundle of hog hairs into the mouth, along with certain magical powders, and then moving the bundle in a highly formalized series of gestures. They have very many burdens they have imposed unto themselves; for example, the excretory rituals. This is why we still look down on uncivilized culture as rudimentary and not worth the sweat off our back. But in all actuality, it's what us humans do everyday and never think twice of it.
This is because different people have different cultures binding and guiding them. The peculiar thing about their pursuit is the intention of their pursuit. However, it only depends on the perspective that people look at them. Professor Linton first brought the ritual of the Nacirema to the attention of anthropologists twenty years ago 1936:326 , but the culture of this people is still very poorly understood. One has but to watch the gleam in the eye of a holy-mouth-man, as he jabs an awl into an exposed nerve, to suspect that a certain amount of sadism is involved. Throughout the article Miner provides an understanding perspective how Americans do similar rituals in a different point of view. In his essay, Miner uses a tone that is formal and unbiased, which happens to be humorous at the same time.
No one knows much about their origin, but traditional legends say they came from the east. Incarcerated in such a body, man's only hope is to avert these characteristics through the use of ritual and ceremony. Every household has at least one shrine. The article itself received the most reprint permission requests of any article in American Anthropologist, but has become part of the. Yet, our modern society seems to disapprove the natural tendency. There are cultural groups and communities who can go to extremes that may seem peculiar to the other people who may not share in the same sentiments and beliefs.
The conflict theory is meant by social institutions and practices continuing because less people are likely to change. These practices were performed in Nacirema, which showed their faith towards the natural law of humans. Malinowsli, Bronislaw 1948 Magic, Science, and Religion. Magical materials are put into these holes. In this version, he identifies the solution to the problems of famine, poverty, and death, as being as simple as eating our own children. First was I surprised when the true identity of the Nacirema tribe was revealed? Female clients, on the other hand, find their naked bodies are subjected to the scrutiny, manipulation and prodding of the medicine men. The memory displayed by the Nacirema in these exorcism sessions is truly remarkable.
If you take a look at the Nacirema's name spelled backwards, its American. They would make up the same kind of story that Miner did, switching lettering or making everyday practices seem bizarre? Miner bring to the readers attention the odd rituals practiced in America that the normal citizen would not find strange at all. This article is reprinted and appears as the final chapter in an anthology called Nacirema: Readings on American Culture. I wasn't however, surprised as I thought I would be when I discovered it was about us. Though small children must be forced to undergo this punishment when they neglect the mouth ritual, adults willingly accept it. When I first read into this article; as any other Americans, I would assume they would have the same sort of reaction as I first did. Abstract Horace Miner wants his readers to learn the value of what a real culture should be and how Americans today are really like.
Horace Miner seems to be particularly interested in the magical beliefs, practices, and rituals of the Nacirema clan. The daily ceremonies, like the rites of the holy-mouth-men, involve discomfort and torture. Nonetheless, they are in theory accountable to present their own findings without injecting their own opinions, but conversely this an absolutely unrealistic expectation. The start of the mystery in the beliefs of this cultural group is in their view about the human body. Your home is judged by home many shrines you have. The poor people in the community also try to make their shrines look better than their houses Schaefer, 2011.
The Nacirema present such unusual aspects that it seems desirable to describe them as an example of the extremes to which human behavior can go. These preparations are secured from a variety of specialized practitioners. Therefore, the diversity can be surprising for an outsider. A man, whose own wife has never seen him in an excretory act, suddenly finds himself naked and assisted by a vestal maiden while he performs his natural functions into a sacred vessel. A single value or pattern of perceiving the world often leaves its stamp on several institutions in the society. I found from this article that Miner was hoping to have us see that Americans have many cultural beliefs or practices that really are ridiculous when viewed from somebody else. The sociological concept of culture is shown in nearly every paragraph of this article.
Miner provides gives outstanding evidence that the characteristics or an attitude of the human body has a broad influence on a variety of institutions in the Nacirema society. The American culture is described by Minor in a very unique and humorous way. The Nacirema people as explained in the article are unique people, who practice and carry out their activities with total disregard of what other cultures view them. Poor families just try to imitate and hang portraits in the shrine to make it seem like they fit. Miner's article became a popular work, reprinted in many introductory textbooks and used as an example in the literature text. Therefore, we should not be so surprised at what another culture might think of us. The Retention of Folk Linguistic Concepts and theti'yčir Caste in Contemporary Nacireman Culture.