Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

The Nacirema As A Mirror of The Modern Consumer - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
At first glance, the little-known Nacirema tribe of North America seemed to be no stranger than any other remote, exotic tribe. The mountain tribes of Southeast Asia and other far-flung regions have rituals that equal, or even surpass that of the Nacirema in their mysticism and peculiarity.
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER96.7% of users find it useful
The Nacirema As A Mirror of The Modern Consumer
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "The Nacirema As A Mirror of The Modern Consumer"

Download file to see previous pages The Nacirema are apparently taught from birth that "the human body is ugly" (Miner 1956, p.503) and that its natural tendencies are toward disease and decay. Their rituals are therefore designed to perpetually reverse this natural process of physical decline.
Reading through the article, I began to see familiar images. Graphic ritual descriptions aside, western society seemed to be a mirror-image of this curiously bizarre tribe. Like the Nacirema, modern cultures seem to be forever altering what nature has provided in order to fit a standard ideal. I realized that the Naciremans were not necessarily a native or aboriginal tribe in the literal sense. Miner mentions that they are from North America, living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles (1956, p.503). The geographical location itself seemed familiar in a strange way. Upon further inspection of clues that may be hidden in the text, I watched, amazed, as the letters of the word Nacirema moved around on the page and began to spell out a word that certainly wasn't exotic: American. I had just unveiled a long-standing myth. The mysterious Nacirema tribe was really a metaphor for western, or more specifically, American society.
2. Name 5 items or ceremonies that we have learnt to use in similar way to the Nacirema
Every ritual observed by the Nacirema has a counterpart in our world. The "shrine" (Miner 1956, p.503) in a Nacirema household, for instance, exactly describes the modern bathroom. One important component of this private room is the "font" (Miner 1956, p.504) found beneath what Miner describes as a built-in chest on the wall. These are our sinks or wash basins, as well as our medicine cabinets, in which we keep all our "magical potions" (Miner 1956, p.504)-pills and medications that often come in an astounding array. We bow down before these fonts to perform a variety of ablutions in the privacy of our bathrooms before we step out to face the world.
Doctors are, literally, medicine men. Their imposing temples are hospitals and clinics where the sick are treated, and where healthy people go for regular check-ups and, as the case may be, even cosmetic touch-ups.
Meanwhile, positioned below doctors in the medical hierarchy are the dentists-or what the Nacirema call "holy-mouth-men" (Miner 1956, p.504). Similarly, western dentists do seem to enjoy tinkering around our orifices and striking terror in us with the mere sight of their instruments. But no matter how much pain-real or imagined-is induced by this practice, we still somehow keep coming back for more.
Another similarity with the Nacirema in witchdoctor dependence, as essayed by Miner, involves another kind of practitioner-the "listener" (1956, p.506). His counterpart in our world would be the psychiatrist, to whom we go for help in exorcising demons out of our minds that we may have carried around with us from childhood.
3. How do variations in culture affect our ability to engage in worthwhile trade Explore both advantages and disadvantages.
In terms of the American market economy, there may be a disadvantage to their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The Nacirema As A Mirror of The Modern Consumer Essay”, n.d.)
The Nacirema As A Mirror of The Modern Consumer Essay. Retrieved from
(The Nacirema As A Mirror of The Modern Consumer Essay)
The Nacirema As A Mirror of The Modern Consumer Essay.
“The Nacirema As A Mirror of The Modern Consumer Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The Nacirema As A Mirror of The Modern Consumer

Mirror by lucy grealy

Introduction: The paper deals with Grealy’s notion of society when she said, “society is no help; the images it gives us again and again want us only to believe that we can most be ourselves by looking like someone else.” Humans have evolved into having so many notions about the perceptions of good and evil, which ultimately construct their view of societal norms. It also has a purpose of the overall well being of the whole community rather than individuals. However, in the context of ultimate humaneness, it becomes a necessity for the society to be sympathetic to all humans irrespective of the traits they possess, by facilitating cooperation among its members attained through empathy, mutual respect, and honesty. Society is an or...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Modern Microecon, Consumer Theory

...? Consumer theory primarily relates to consumer choice, where consumer choice is a microeconomics theory that links the preferences over consumption of goods and services to the expenditure entitled to these and hence, to consumer demand curves. Given the law ‘ceterus paribus’ of economics, a typical consumer demand curve shows, with all other factors constant an individual will consume more of a good or a service when its price falls and lesser of it if the price rises. Consumer choice is a basic way of analyzing how equilibrium between preferences and expenditures can be achieved by consumers by maximizing utility in regard to their budget constraints. Two important terms to understand here are utility and budget constraints. In raw...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

Mirror - Method and Madness

...? Mirror Mirror Introduction The poem by Plath talks about a woman who uses the mirror often in many different situations. The feelings and observations of the mirror about the woman in all her life is known. The author accomplishes this by using different stylistic devices that brings out the meaning and point of view of the author. Some of the stylistic devices used in the poem are characterization, personification and the use of imagery. Through these devices, a reader understands the mirror and the woman that the author talks about in the poem. One also gets to understand the view of the author, connect, and relate to him effectively. I will look at the stylistic devices in more details to bring out the characters used...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Consumer Culture in Modern Europe

... Consumer Culture in Modern Europe Review of Nazi Chic in Relation to Consumer Culture Nazi Chic is a book that deals comprehensively with fashion design in Germany during the World War 1 through World War 2 to Third Reich. This book looks at the attempts and failures Nazi state to come up with female figure that would display official gender policies. In addition, the book explores designing of female image that will instill feeling of national vanity and promote victory to German on fashion runways in Europe. This was in support of Nazi who controlled European fashion. The book depicts that fashion was one of the Germany’s leading industries through out the war and interwar times. German women topped in the list of most stylishly dressed...
6 Pages(1500 words)Term Paper

Nacirema People and Their Rituals

Nacirema People and Their Rituals Nacirema culture is a unique society, which inhabits territories between the Canadian Cree, the Northern Mexican States, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles. This group of people is known for their exotic spiritual viewpoints and practicing ancient exclusive body-rituals, like oral cleanliness and other mouth-rites, ritual of purification, or keeping little sacred "charm-boxes" filled with magical herbs and poisons, etc.
Nacirema culture used to be investigated by anthropologists and ethnologists, who, nevertheless, could not discover origin of these people. In a number of works Nacirema is described as a social group with quite developed market economy and flexibility for changes in thei...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Mirror by Sylvia Plath

...Poetry Explication: “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath The poem entitled “Mirror” written by Sylvia Plath appears initially as providing a physical description of the mirror in a straightforward way through stating its characteristics and purpose which is to provide an exact image of the person peering through it; but as the poem progresses, the mirror increasingly symbolized the personified reflection of women who views herself a maturing individual through time. The mirror apparently is the speaker in this literary work. At the start, Plath plainly presented an explicit narrative description of the mirror by using adjectives that depict objectivity such as silver, exact, no preconceptions (Plath line 1). The description was further detailed...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Culture of the Nacirema

... find it interesting that they share the belief that most people in developed, modern societies have, that good appearances have an effect on "social relationships," (Miner, n.d). This makes sense since I myself would not be attracted to people who are unclean and dirty. A fourth positive aspect of the Nacirema is how they have a "listener", who for me is the equivalent of a psychotherapist. The listener simply listens to what his clients tell him about their problems (Miner, n.d). Lastly, it's interesting to see how the entire Nacirema society is neatly distinguished into different social roles; there are medicine men, herbalists, mouth men for example, and they are all highly trained in their own professions. One negative aspect...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Consumer Protection Law in the UK

An exception to the clause is when the retailer can show: for good reasons he was not aware of the advertisement; the statement had been corrected prior to the conclusion of the sale; or the statement could not have had an influence on the consumer.4 OSL, in this case, was bound by the contract of sale which included the warranty advertisement unless OSL, in this case, Patrick the manager, could show he had no knowledge of the advertisement.5
In SOGA 1979 14(2) as to quality the court found in Rogers v Parish ( Scarborough) Ltd [1987] QB 933 found that goods must be fit for the purposes for which supplied and failure to do so leaves them unmerchantable.6 In Jim’s case, he purchased the racquet at £250, a considera...
11 Pages(2750 words)Research Paper

Autoimmune Diseases and the Importance of Their Treatment in the Modern Society

The research should be considered as the basis (from a theory and practice perspective) of immunology as it is known today. During the years that followed the above studies, immunology was developed furthermore and many theories were stated while the methods of treatment were differentiated in order to respond to the changing living standards and styles of life. The main reason for the choice of the particular topic has been its importance for patients that suffer from one of the types of the particular disease. In fact, a study published in the Environmental Health Perspective (2003, 483) proved that “autoimmune diseases are chronic, potentially life-threatening conditions; there are more than 80 recognized autoimmune disea...
10 Pages(2500 words)Case Study

Marketing and Consumer Behaviour

Promotion aims to generate a hunger in the customer for the product and selection of the place of availability of the product is based upon the premise of easing the accessibility of the product for the target group of customers. Highlight on the thus evident customer centrism of the entire process of marketing.

Importance of Consumers – Focus on the fact that it is the customers that make the purchases, and this role of the customer is that crucial element which actually converts all the promotion plans, cost reducing and quality improving activities, advertising of the brand etc into profits for the organisation. Therefore final objective of all marketing strategies and activities is to make the consumer buy the...
8 Pages(2000 words)Assignment

Consumer Credit Act 2006

The key provisions are set to be implemented by October 2008 and the focus of this analysis is to critically evaluate the impact of the Act vis-à-vis consumer protection. Consumer Minister Ian Macartney asserted that “The Consumer Credit Act beefs up protection for borrowers, especially those with debt problems. It helps them challenge unfairness and protects them from dishonest lenders who try to rip them off. Our aim is a market that protects all consumers and is fair to honest lenders, leaving those without scruples nowhere to hide”. Whilst this meritorious objective of the Act is unequivocal, it is submitted at the outset that the efficacy of the provisions will inherently be reliant on proactive enforcement...
15 Pages(3750 words)Assignment

Dental Veneers as a Breakthrough in Modern Dental Technology

In today’s fashion-conscious world, porcelain and composite veneers remain some of the most popular choices for people seeking to improve the esthetics of their teeth. Porcelain veneers have several advantages when compared to composite veneers including durability, resistance to staining, and amount of tooth structure removed during the procedure.
First and foremost, the porcelain veneers are very durable. They are also very thin – usually between 0.5 - 0.7 millimeters – and brittle, although once bonded to a healthy tooth structure they can become quite strong. The bonding process increases durability and veneers made of porcelain can last for many years, oftentimes between 10-15 years depending on how wel...
8 Pages(2000 words)Term Paper

Traditional Women in the Modern World

It is within the family that many attributes of gender inequality are generated and replicated. Economic and interpersonal dependence on both genders and in various instances more vicious forms of inferiority, are classic elements of marriage and family. Women’s long-established roles leave them with the trouble of widespread domestic and nurturance obligations in addition to limited authority within the family. These trends represent gender inequality within the home and are echoed in the ideology justifying a gender-separated workforce in which women’s earnings and prospects are disproportionate to men’s. While almost every woman has some family bonds to men, by their kinship ties to their fathers and brothers,...
9 Pages(2250 words)Assignment

Consumer Culture and Lifestyles

To the business managers, it makes more business sense to design particular products and services according to particular lifestyles and preferences.
A lifestyle connotes a particular form of individuality, self-consciousness, and self-expression. The bodies, speeches, clothes, eating and drinking preferences, leisure pastimes, cars, homes’, choice of holidays, among others, are all regarded as pointers of individuals’ sense of style and taste (Featherstone, 2003). In other words, these are the individuals’ lifestyles. Companies around the world are utilizing the concept of individuality and lifestyle to build product brands that appeal to particular age groups. This has been necessitated by market segmentat...
11 Pages(2750 words)Assignment

What Are the Most Important Factors in Explaining the Rise of the Modern State

Though the existence of the state can be felt in different walks of everyday life, yet it is an intangible whose nature is impossible to grasp. As a political institution, state embodies the concept of sovereignty. Devetak (2007) describes it as a political unit or a country that possesses sovereignty. State can thus be described as a single, unified whole confined within territorial borders. The state is built in a core geographical area with allowances to a certain extent on the boundaries. According to Strayer (1970), a state exists in the hearts and minds of the people. The collective personality of the state renders it immortal. The state is a multi-faced concept that is fuzzy around its edges. Consequently, we cannot develop...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Humanistic Buddhism: A Way of Nirvana for Modern Man

However, how many people in today’s modern world are ready to renounce their life of comfort and materialistic pleasure to know the ultimate truth of life? Hardly anyone will be ready to renounce the pleasures of life. Hence, as Buddhism was believed to be a religion of suffering and severe self-discipline, very few people from the modern world were ready to practice it. However, Humanistic Buddhism, by modifying the teachings and simplifying the practices of the religion, gave a fresh and renewed beginning to Buddhism. Humanistic Buddhism, by modifying its practices to suit the social demands of modern life, has not just saved Buddhism from dying out but has also helped people to find happiness and satisfaction in life by s...
8 Pages(2000 words)Assignment

Discovering the Tragic Hero: Ancient and Modern

...Discovering the Tragic Hero: Ancient and Modern The concept of the tragic hero was first brought forward in ancient Greek mythology through the writings of the philosopher Aristotle as he described the important individual characteristics the tragic hero must possess. Although Aristotle outlines three requisite character traits that the tragic hero should possess, he qualifies the definition of the tragic hero with a set of events that must also take place before the hero can be considered truly tragic. Once this process is understood, it is easy to see how the sudden downfall of a mighty man, such as Oedipus the King from the play by Sophocles for example, would be dramatic and shocking to a public dominated by strict social classes...
9 Pages(2250 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic The Nacirema As A Mirror of The Modern Consumer for FREE!

Contact Us