Nacirema Body

Submitted By jessi2016
Words: 992
Pages: 4

Jessica Hooks
Sociology 101

Nacirema Society
“Attitudes about the body”

Pg. 1
We as society view other cultures as being socially incompetent and not on the same level as we view our selves. We hold things on a higher level for our culture and put others down when they don’t meet our standards. Sociologists are important when it comes to these topics because their research of one’s culture and behaviors and practices are very important to the growth of one’s society. Without the aid of their studies we can only guess as to why certain cultures practice certain rituals and religious ceremonies. Of course each culture has its own belief system, but when you mix these together with other cultures we get culture shock. Culture shock occurs when one’s put somewhere where they are surprised and disorientation takes place. They experience cultural practices that are different from their own therefore are over whelming one’s mind. In the perfect society things of this nature wouldn’t be at all a problem.
Let’s look at so sociological theory which according to the book definition means: “a set of statements that seeks to explain problems, actions, or behavior”. (Schaefer, 13th edition pg.8). Well anyone who read the article “Body Ritual among the Nacirema” I would assume made the same connection. My first reaction to the article was is this real and if so how could this being happening so close to home. I read it a second time and then incorporated sociology imagination. I stepped back and looked at their practices as if I were a part of their culture. At first it’s hard to wrap your head around and the whole time you’re questioning the sanity of everyone. Their magical beliefs and practices are of the most extremes of human behavior can go.
They’re described as being obsessed with their rituals that pertain to the human body’s vanity. There are shrines that these rituals take place. They’re done on a daily basis and the shrines hold charms that are placed in them after these rituals. There are medicines, magical materials placed
inside it for safekeeping they’re meant to be reused but when the charm box is full they don’t use them over. Beneath the charm boxes are a small front. On a daily basis each member of the family enters and bows at the charm- box. They use different types of holy water in a small ritual. The holy water comes from the “Water Temple” of the community where a priest conducts elaborate ceremonies to make the liquid ritually pure ( All of the practices are private and secret they are only discussed with children, and only at the point where they are able to be initiated into these mysteries.
The men are described as doing a ritual on a daily basis which they start scraping and lacerating the surface of the face with a sharp instrument. The Nacirema are what you can say are obsessed with ritual that has to do with the mouth. They believe that the condition of the mouth has a great deal of influence on their social relationships. If such rituals were not performed they believe their teeth would fall out, and their gums would bleed, and jaws would shrink, their friends desert them (
They seek out a ‘holy- mouth-man’ once or twice a year that is described as a specialist of the mouth. The Nacirema believe that visits will stop the deterioration of their teeth and attract people to them. The care of the mouth for them is of the utmost importance. The ‘holy-mouth-man performs his own rituals with varies tool. If there are holes present in the teeth and even if its’ not he make a hole, and puts his magical