Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

948 WordsFeb 3, 20134 Pages
January 26, 2013 Horace Minor applied satire in his article “Body Ritual among the Nacirema.” to the culture of the American people. Several ways in which “Body Ritual among the Nacirema” relate to the core concepts of sociology are through the use of sociological imagination, ethnocentrism and cultural relativism. The American culture is described by Minor in a very unique and humorous way. The author uses satire to examine the rituals that are every day in American culture. The reader thinks at the beginning of the article that they are reading about some uncivilized tribe of people but soon realized that the “rituals” that are being performed are just everyday events that take place in every American household. Miner describes the…show more content…
In the 1950’s, medical facilities were not what they are today, and I think Miner wanted to raise awareness regarding issues in medical clinics, psychiatric practices, and in dental offices. At that time there were many bizarre treatments in psychiatric facilities and most were just a place to lock up mental patients to remove them from society. Starting in the 1950’s, there has been major changes in the medical community. Practices performed in psychiatry and dental offices have changed dramatically as well and certainly wouldn’t compare to the procedures described of the Nacirema tribe. One could feel sorry for the tribe being written about and disapprove of our own culture when viewing it using the sociological perspective. Miner writes in one of the introduction paragraphs that “the magical beliefs and practices of 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,” (Minor, 1956) Teeth brushing, dental visits, and hair drying are things that seem like normal behaviors. Even the obsession of women’s breast sizes are accepted as normal and certainly haven’t changed since the 1950’s. Minor’s description of these behaviors make them sound foreign and we feel sympathy towards the behavior’s in this “tribe”. In the end, while some may not relate popular American culture with the article,
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