The Nacirema article is a cultural anthropological approach to

The Nacirema article is a cultural anthropological
approach to the American culture and its obsession with physical appearance and
consumerism. Their
belief seems to be that the human body is ugly and that its “natural tendency
is to debility and disease”, which leads to this community to follow an
egocentric routine where not only their physical appearance but also their home
and families play an important role in society. Miner makes emphasis in the
patterns of behavior of this particular group of people that he refers to as
Nacirema, which values and perceptions are reflected in their behavior in
society, and how this society is standardized base on these perceptions. Miner
explains how the Nacirema culture is characterized by a “highly developed
market economy which has evolved in a rich natural habitat”, and how peoples
time is devoting expend in economic pursuits in order to afford the daily ritual
activity in the human body.

Biological anthropology can also be assigned to this
satirical article, due to its focused on studying human behavior, growth and
development and the impact of technology and evolution. Biological anthropology
applies all the techniques of modern biology to achieve fuller understanding of
human variation and its relationship to the different environments in which
people have lived. Horace Miner made used of all these elements at the moment
of writing this article, allowing him to be so explicit that when I first read
it, didn’t realized he was referring to the American culture and the activities
that on a daily basis seem to be normal to us, this was due to my own
ethnocentrism (evaluation of other cultures
according to preconceptions originating in the standards and customs of one’s
own culture). How would we think of ourselves as
masochistic people who have developed sadistic specialist? Well, Miner has a
point, but we are not able to see these from our perspective as member of this
American culture. It has been always easier to judge or criticized other
cultures, their language and tradition only because is different to ours. And
as he finished saying referring to the Americans “it is hard to understand how
they have managed to exist so long under the burdens which they imposed upon
themselves”, but at the end, these exotic customs have a real meaning. This
article is teaching us that while other cultural groups might have practices
that seem shocking to us, our own basic practices can appear also unfamiliar
when examined from outside. We should them examine the beliefs behind the
practices of other culture before judging. We have to learn to observe without
ethnocentrism and no compare the society of study to the one we are living in.

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Personally, the exposure to different cultures has helped for personal
growth. We all have something to learn from different cultures, allowing us to
have different perspectives and a better understanding of their practices and
traditions. As  Maya Angelou
said: “It
is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is
beauty and there is strength.”