Essay on Culture and Miner

Submitted By Megadan
Words: 616
Pages: 3

Maldonado 1
Daniel Maldonado
Powers Miguel
ENGL 100
2 September, 2013
Words: 685 Mircotheme #1: Diagnostic Exercise No civilization anywhere is considered normal except for those within the society. A culture that goes by the name “The Naciermas” are magic ridden people that believe in perfection of the body but in fact they represent American culture as a whole (Miner 171). The idea behind using the term “Nacierma” originated from American Anthropologist Horace Miner’s article “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema”. He wanted to show Americans can be abnormal yet hiding the fact the name “Nacirema” is American in reverse. Americans are as awkward as any other culture due to their practices on presentation but it also shows people can not look away from something they use everyday, magic. In America, it is normal to focus on appearance and they go to great lengths to reach the look they desire. According to Miner, the core belief within America is that one’s well being is the most imperative aspect to their everyday life. In addition, they also conceive the thought of the “body is ugly and it’s vulnerability to diseases” (Miner 171). Practices involved in services or actions enhance the need to be become more impeccable in figures like: brushing teeth, supplements, therapy, shaving, beauty salons, etc. When one is accustomed to these practices, they keep repeating them to maintain Maldonado 2 beauty and health. The mirror is an example of building essence in self confidence and health. Envision a body builder or model in a room solely with a mirror; they will potentially worship the object from hours till end. On the other hand, when a person is sick, their first instinct is to reach the mirror for specific medication to their illness. Miner relates the mirror to a shrine that holds charms (medicine) no American can live without (171). In this context, the mirror is a powerful form of magic that keeps attracting people to beauty and health. Services like health care are represented as intimidating but essential to a healthy lifestyle, no matter how painful it results in. Miner references a Hospital as “Latipso” (Hospital in reverse), a place to relieve pain by going through a series of ceremonies/rituals that engages in torture (172). Same can be said about the Dentist that is known as the “Holy Mouth Man” in simplest form (Miner 172). In society, people rank/see these practitioners as someone who is close to god or overpowered with magic