Culture and Sociology of the Nacerima Essay by Paramount

Culture and Sociology of the Nacerima
An insight into the culture of the Nacerima society with an emphasis on the obsession with health and cleanliness.
# 9855 | 1,018 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jan 31, 2003 in Anthropology (Modern) , Sociology (General)

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The Nacerima society is American society as if viewed from the outside. It is a parody of the American lifestyle likened to a tribe with culture and rituals. This paper examines the Nacerima society and culture by reviewing the article "Body Rituals Among the Nacirema," by Horace Miner. It describes a culture based on rituals that attempt to prevent a journey towards debility and disease and analyzes its norms, institutions and material goods with illustrated examples i.e. teeth brushing as a norm, the hospital as an institution and medicines as a material good.

From the Paper:

"Brushing of the teeth is presented as one of the norms of the culture. This is closely linked to the emphasis on health. As the author says, "The Nacirema have an almost pathological horror of and fascination with the mouth, the condition of which is believed to have a supernatural influence on all social relationships" (Miner). The author takes this to the extreme explaining that, "Were it not for the rituals of the mouth, they believe that their teeth would fall out, their gums bleed, their jaws shrink, their friends desert them, and their lovers reject them" (Miner). The most interesting thing about this presentation of teeth brushing is that it is true - the state of one's teeth is something that impacts on how someone is viewed and has social significance attached to it."

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