The Nacirema-A strange and primative people?: Food for Thought

Miner’s “Body Ritual among the Nacirema
The Nacirema article from the AAA (American Anthropological Association) website and other links at the bottom of the  42kCached  

What was the point of the Nacirema article? 

The Nacirema or “American” article pointed out the ethnocentric mind set of people in “civilized and advanced societies”.  Often people look at other cultures as primitive and uncivilized, backward and illogical, but this article depicts Americans as a strange and savage culture convincingly to other Americans.  The article tries to show how things could be misinterpreted and ethnocentric views cloud judgment and understanding of another’s open mindedness.  It focuses on the rituals of the bathroom, body image, and the medical field with doctors, dentists, and therapists.  The article also shows some of the differences with male and female body image alteration such as shaving and breast implants.  One of the possible motivations of this article was to show Americans what they might look like to other civilizations that we have viewed in the past or currently as exotic and mystical cultures among the people of the world. 

It is a cultural anthropologist’s way of humbling the modern westernized cultures and the arrogance of Americans of their lacking cultural respect and efforts to understand, instead of pointing fingers and looking through the glass a different way.

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