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Within the Article: Body Ritual Among the Nacirema by Horace Miner...

Within the Article: Body Ritual Among the Nacirema by Horace Miner (1956)

  1. From the Guest textbook, what is magic and how does it relate to ritual? What are some of the Nacirema's magical practices in their beliefs about their bodies? Who are some of the cultural authorities they consult in the name of those beliefs?
  2. I assign this article at the end of the course to see how we have come in making "the normal seem strange and the strange seem normal." At what point did you you realize that Nacirema is American spelled backwards and how did that change the way you read this selection? 
  3. Did this "outsiders" view of American cultural practices allow you to see yourself and your culture in a new light? Explain. 
  4. What we consider rational, logical, and even scientific behavior within our own culture may appear irrational, illogical, and full of magical beliefs and practices when seen from the outside. How does Miner's article challenge us to confront our own ethnocentrism?

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