Cultural Relativism Nacirema

Decent Essays
It is so easy to access your own culture to examine aspects; however, this paper will flip the script using an etic view to gain a better understanding of American culture from an outsider’s perspective while taking on an insider’s perspective to examine another culture, Japan using an emic view. Cultural relativism tells us that we must examine beliefs and activities of other cultures with a meaningful understanding of the context of that particular culture, background, history, and practices from an emic perspective without prejudice or superiority (Crapo, 2013). Rituals connect something beyond the person through the shared sentiments and meaning that they create. Rituals are meaningful to the person and to the society as…show more content…
To do the latter, we must investigate the meanings the custom has for those who practice it and the functions it may fulfill in their society. (Section 1.4, “Cultural Differences: Cultural Relativism,” para. 3). In this section, I will examine the aging process from an etic perspective as Horace Miner (1956) describes in “Body Ritual among the Nacirema”, it is helpful to examine American culture from an etic perspective in order to step outside our own experiences as enculturated members of this society. From an etic view, American practices seem just as strange or unusual to outsiders as other cultural appear to Americans. Part I, will review the aging process and how longevity changes the family structure in America. The U.S. Census Bureau (2011) states that Americans are living longer and life expectancy rose to 78.8 years in 2011. Once reaching age 65, one can expect to live 17 years more for all race/sex groups. Statistics indicate that women usually out live men by 5.5 years. The elderly populations will more than double between now and the year 2050, to 80 million. By 2050, the surviving baby boomers will be over the age of 85 (U.S. Census Bureau,…show more content…
Memories of everyone being together where all adults sat and ate at the big dining table; and children sat at a smaller table where everyone was together and thankful to be there with family and friends. This tradition is passed on from generation to generation because rituals promise a sense of continuity, order, and predictability. They are important times in life of special moments, changes, and transitions. A ritual practiced in the Black American culture is the family reunion which is an annual event, usually held in the warm weather season, kicking off the event with a barbeque picnic at a park or resort, with planned activities for a weekend. Where cultural meanings and knowledge is shared and passed between generations and elders are honored. Grandmothers, grandfathers, great-grandparents to aunts and uncles are recognized and honored for their wisdom, guidance, and longevity. So, the aging ritual in American is a process of going from independency to dependency, from living alone to a shared environment with a high probability of living in a multigenerational household with
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