Horace Miner Nacireman Culture Summary

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Dissimilarity can be frightening. Humans are used to their daily lives, and anything that is out of the norm causes emotions like dispute or confusion. Divergence is eccentric, and it is in human nature to avoid it. The world is a large place with substantial regions of life. It is composed of numerous countries, not to mention the countless towns, villages, and cities. Within such an vast place, there are bound to be diverse differences. The role of an anthropologist is to study the human species around the world. Anthropologist, Horace Miner, was particularly interested in the Naciremans. He found their culture to be a paradigm of the absolute extreme human behaviour can go. (Miner, 1956: 503) and wrote about it in Body Ritual among the Nacirema.…show more content…
This is “the tendency to judge the beliefs and behaviours of other cultures from the perspective of one’s own culture” (McGarry, 2007:19). Perspective has an enormous influence on viewpoint. Miner illustrated what American culture may look like from an etric’s perspective. He made very clear that he was judging the Naciremans, using terms like unusual, extreme, and magic-ridden. This created biased opinions. Outsiders are not used to cultures different from their own, to the extent where some may believe that their own culture is the only right one. This is ethnographic fallacy. Through these beliefs, anthropologists can mistakenly spread their biased notions to others. In their written representations of their experiences, there would be a clear use of connotative language. This will cause readers to get the wrong ideas about these different realities. These beliefs can be the leading cause to disagreements between different societies. Currently, countries are at war because of culture clashes. There are murders, bullying, racism, and hate crimes. In order to change these judgments, we must shift our thinking from ethnocentrism to cultural relativism. This is “The attempt to understand the beliefs and behaviours of other cultures in terms of the culture in which they are found” (McGarry, 2007: 19). Miner proved very clearly that perspectives from an outsider’s view creates different…show more content…
The most important one being whether it is really possible to overcome ethnocentrism all together. As a world, we must unite to have an open mind. Although, Minor made no serious judgements in his article, he did verify that it is challenging to think unbiasedly as he described his own culture from an outsiders perspective. This leads to another question. How can racism, sexism, homophobism, and essentialism be eliminated, as it will bring us closer to having an open mind? I believe that with an expanded knowledge on different cultures, people will learn to think more critically. It can help us envision what it would be like to be in somebody else’s shoes. This can put an end to judgments. The human race will learn to feel empathy. Moving on, Miner also gets readers to question if our society is flawed. American culture has too much of a focus on appearance. He does this in a satirical sense as he uses comedy to make fun of how we “bake” our hair or hide pregnancies. The article assists the reader to look at American culture from another perspective to better analyze

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