The article ‘Body Ritual among the Nacirema’ appears to be a humorous allusion to popular practices in American culture as observed as observed by a foreign anthropologist who chances upon the nation in his travels. There are obvious hints to the fact that it is the American…
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General George Washington led the American revolution in 1776, and became the first American president. For more than half of Americans, he is much more than a cultural hero.
The article goes further to note that Nacirema’s culture is characterized by a well developed market economy which delivers financial benefits to the majority of the Nacirema people. The Nacirema people use up most of their time in pursuing in tending their bodies in ritualistic ways that have cultural approval (Miner, 1956). The author is obviously alluding to the preoccupation that many Americans have with ensuring that their bodies are in the best physical shape. The ‘shrine’ that the author alludes to, which exists in many houses for the purposes of ritualistically attending the body is probably a reference to gymnasiums, or exercise rooms, which many Americans have created within their houses.
This shrine could also be an allusion to the medicine box. The author states that within their shrines, the Nacirema usually include a chest like box that is built into the wall. This chest is said to hold magical portions which have been given to the people by specialized practitioners. The people cannot really tell what the portions are made up of, as the practitioners write what they are in a supposedly secret language that can only be deciphered by other practitioners. From the way the author describes these portions, it is evident that he is speaking about medicinal prescriptions, as well as nutritional supplements such as vitamins and minerals which can be found today in almost every American home.
The author then goes on to stop that the Nacirema culture is obsessed with the human mouth. He satirically states that the Nacirema believe so much in the power of their mouths, that they are certain that if they do not perform certain rituals on a daily basis, their teeth would fall out, and their social and personal relationships
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It is part laziness and part ignorance that leads to such behavior. The people who do step out, too, believe that their vote is not likely to make a difference. The driving force behind their behavior is either their acceptance of the fact that it is their duty as a citizen, or because they support either parties and want to join in the zeal and fervor on the day of the elections.
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6 Pages(1500 words)Literature review
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