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Body Ritual among The nacirema
Transcript of Body Ritual among The nacirema
What are Miner's purposes other than Satire?
When did you know the real subject?
What are the processes Miner describes called in Americanese?
What bizarre definitions of ordinary things did you find in the piece? What is their effect?
Body Ritual among The nacirema
anna balas and katherine maher
Who were/are the nacirema?
Do you know Miner's true subject?
"Looking from far and above, from our high places of safety in the developed civilization, it is easy to see all the crudity and irrelevance of magic. But without its power and guidance early man could not have mastered his practical difficulties as he has done, nor could any man have advanced to the higher stages of civilization."
Point of View
Do you think that a satirical work in this same style would work with any other country? What about Naidanac? Or Nacixem?
This article was written in 1956. If Miner were to rewrite this article today, what would he include that he did not include in 1956 and what kind of definition would he create? Think of objects or customs other than cell phones, computers, and the internet.
Do you think he achieved his purposes? Why or why not?
What assumptions do we make about other cultures? What are some examples of cultural practices that occur in other parts of the world that are different from those of America and can be hard to understand?
Miner wanted to satirize the seemingly commonplace things people in America do. In order to achieve this, he makes the essay seem to be about a foreign tribe rather than normal American culture.
On the surface, it seems as though Miner is using an unbiased and sophisticated tone, this is done as a humorous and comical way. He is mocking the American culture by doing this.
Miner offers a point of view as an outsider looking at American culture. He does this to not only satirize culture, but to mock the way we view other cultures.
Miner flips the spelling of words and uses different descriptions to explain simple things. He does this to make American culture seem foreign.
what other examples did you find?
Wattle and Daub
Augers, awls, probes, and prods
Strong visual imagery throughout the piece
"our review of the ritual life of the Nacirema has certainly shown them to be a magic-ridden people. It is hard to understand how they have managed to exist so long under the burdens which they have imposed upon themselves."
"The focal point of the shrine is a box or chest which is built into the wall. In this chest are kept the many charms and magical potions without which no native believes he could live."
Miner uses high diction and jargon through anthropological terminology. He do so to emphasize the scientific way they are viewing the Nacirema culture.
Miner includes a large amount of detail when he is describing rituals and objects used in everyday life. He also chooses to describe the details in ways that are not commonly considered by Americans.
Selection of Detail
Why does Miner include so much detail and how does this help to achieve his purpose?
Miner uses Process Analysis as well as definitions in his selection. Process analysis helps to explain exactly what the body rituals of the Nacirema are, and how they are done everyday. He also defines objects and processes used in the body rituals of the Nacirema.