Discussion Board: Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

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Read the following short article:

Miner, H. (1956). Body ritual among the Nacirema. American Anthropologist 58:3. Retrieved from https://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/miner.html

This discussion is broken into topics for Week 1 and Week 2. You must participate in both topics to get full credit.

Week 1

Answer the following question:

Are you familiar with the cultural group described in the article?

After you read your professor’s post revealing the identity of this group, comment on the following:

  1. Were you surprised when you found out who the Nacirema were? Why or why not?
  2. How does Body Ritual Among the Nacirema help us understand our own view of other cultures and how we are viewed by other cultures?

Week 2

Comment on any of the following questions. Quality and engagement with other students is more important than quantity.

  1. Why do some of the practices and rituals of other cultures seem odd or foreign to us? How do our own cultural norms affect our understanding and perception of other cultures?
  2. What assumptions do we make about other cultures? What are some examples of practices in other cultures that we find odd and hard to understand? (For example, arranged marriages, eating and preparing unusual foods, ritual body piercing, rites of passage.)
  3. How does our own cultural worldview affect how we perceive this specific group?
  4. What techniques can we use to notice when we are making assumptions about others, and how can we avoid doing so?