Miner: Body Ritual of the Nacirema

by Sammy Eklund, May 2015

300 words

1 page


Extremes of human body behavior can be found in some exotic cultures of the world and the Nacirema is one of such cultures. Anthropologist Horace Miner, the author of the article “Body Ritual among the Nacirema” noted that this culture is not well studied yet. Therefore, there is a need of thorough research and infield anthropological investigation of this unique group of people. Their rituals and ceremonies need to be observed and analyzed on the basis of longitudinal observation and research. Besides, except rituals and body language observation, there is a need to study the Nacirema culture from psychological and perspective. It is the understanding of psychology of a person which can help to analyze and understand his/her behavior and actions. It is quite clear that masochistic and sadistic sides of this culture can be understood or at least explained from the perspective of psychology of the representatives of Nacirema’s culture. Miner’s essay was updated at the beginning of this year, 2012, which means it contains rather up-to-date information. Therefore, if I were to update this anthropological piece of writing, I would start from observing body rituals and ceremonies of this group of people. The longitudinal observations would help me to analyze the behavior of the Nacirema and draw conclusions regarding their psychology and the main factors which influence the way they live and behave on the basis of my fieldwork. The author of the article himself stresses the necessity to carry out “careful inquiry into the personality structure of these people” (Miner para12). I believe that my research would confirm Miner’s fundamental points regarding the Nacirema. At the same time, however, some of the points might be different, because with the time some of the attitudes and fundamental believes of the Nacirema might have change under the influence of the overall human progress, technological development and various factors related to integration and globalization. Works CitedMiner, H. ‘Body ritual among the Nacirema’, American Anthropologist 58, 1956: …

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