Socialization of the Nacirema Tribe Essay

1144 Words 5 Pages
Societies often exercise complicated religious ceremonies and daily services that are seemingly irrational, but define their culture and give them a distinct personality. In “Body Ritual among the Nacirema”, author Horace Miner (1956) recalls his studies about a “North American group called the Nacirema, living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Taraumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles” (Miner, 1956). During his expedition, Miner (1956) viewed many outwardly odd Nacirema practices such as “using magical potions and charms to defend against ailments, or drilling holes in their teeth, so they can insert supernatural substances that draw friends” (Miner 1956). In order to better understand a …show more content…
For instance, my locality has made a big difference in the way that I interact with others. From birth to age fifteen I lived in Marshall Indiana in a country house located miles away from any neighbors; I attended a school with eight children in each classroom, got all of our groceries in the small town a few miles from our home, and rarely interacted with others outside of my family. When I started attending high school in Hobart Indiana, I was ostracized because, at first, I did not talk often or participate in any school events, but this is because I was accustomed to living a quiet and mostly uneventful life. People in a Nacirema tribe are faced with socially similar predicaments; they grow up with certain rituals and beliefs, such as, Miller (1956) states, “ visiting a holy mouth man once or twice a year because they fear that their physical and spiritual self would wither if they didn’t” (Miner, 1956). In a Nacirema society this is completely normal because it is all they know, just as living solitarily was all I knew. Understanding a society’s viewpoint can be somewhat difficult if their practices seem strange, so it is helpful to develop abilities, such as Schaefer defines as “role taking” or “the process of mentally assuming the perspective of another and responding from that imagined viewpoint” (Schaefer, 2012). Although I couldn’t actually practice any of the Nacirema ritual without physically or mentally harming myself, I can apply

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