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Body rituals among the Nacirema Essay Sample

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Body rituals among the Nacirema Essay Sample

Professor Emma Linton of the Martian Institute of Interplanetary Cultural Anthropology might have come up with her unexpected conclusions regarding to the body rituals of the Nacirema people. Linton’s report was wildly inaccurate written due to the facts that she does not have any qualitative previous knowledge about the culture and she like to draw a comparison between cultures. She did not follow all the methodological process an anthropologist should follow, and a long term of studying of the culture is required. She interprets what she sees by using her knowledge but not by deep studying on the culture she relies too much on the interview.

Professor Emma Linton came up with the unexpected conclusion due to many wrong factors. She is studying the culture from the outsider’s (etic) view and does not have an accurate view about the culture because she is not a member of the culture. She drags a comparison of her culture with other cultures, in the first paragraph she states, “… but spend most of their day in ritual activity. The main point of the ritual is the human body … powerful influence of rituals and ceremonies.” We could clearly see that her culture does not pay attention on taking bath because she calls bathing as “body rituals” and “rituals and ceremonies”. “body rituals” means to bath, which is an ordinary routine to do every day.

It could not be considered as a ritual or ceremonies, but she described it as a ceremony because she is lack of knowledge in the Nacirema culture. Another example could be found in paragraph 4, she states “The medicine women do not give out the potions though, but decide what the ingredients should be…” As you can see, her country is not developed because we could clearly see that she compares her culture’s medicine women with the doctors in the Nacirema culture. More examples could be found in Professor Emma’s writing that could back up my argument. The Charm box represents the medicine box (In paragraph 4-5), and “the holy water from holy temple” are just toilets with water supplies, these are just some of the examples that she relate her culture with Nacirema culture.

Another factor that causes her to have an incorrect conclusion is that she pays too much attention on the “real culture”, which means that she only focus on the body rituals. If she observes the culture broadly for a long period of time, she would certainly find out the rituals is just brushing the teeth, taking a bath, and shaving your mouth stashes (on paragraph 6 “The rituals consists of inserting a small bundle of hog hair into the mouth…”). She only studied a part of the Nacirema culture and did not focus the culture as a whole, ideal culture, explicit culture, and the implicit culture were not studied in her research.

Professor Emma Linton does not have enough knowledge to conclude with the right thought. She compares Toilets as the “shrine”, hospitals as the “great temple or latipsoh”, medicine kid as “the charm box”, and etc. When she evaluate her culture with the Nacirema culture, it creates a certain degree of ethnocentrism, she believes that her culture is more correct and superior than the Nacirema culture, she later states that the Nacirema is “a magic -ridden culture”. Culture shock is generated in piece of writing when she observed the Nacirema culture, she believes that the Nacirema culture is a strange culture. She concludes her writing by saying “It is hard to understand how these people have exited so long under the burdens of their beliefs”.

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