Can you rewrite and paraphrase this short sociological discussion?
What is your reflection on Reading # 8?
My initial thought after reading the “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” is that the rituals they performed to their bodies seem painful and horrific. However, as I thought through what I read, I realized that what they do to their bodies, as sadistic as it sounds, is not far from what Americans do. We are so focused on our appearances that we go above and beyond to defy the natural process of the human body. Some people even go to the extent of having multiple surgeries to “beautify” themselves. They spend a lot of money to attain the “perfect” appearance, be it a nose job, face lift, breast implant, or liposuction. Furthermore, the holy mouth-man that was described in the reading is comparable to our dentist. No matter how painful of an experience it is to see the dentist, we still go and have our teeth cleaned, get a root canal, or have our teeth pulled. The latipso that was mentioned in the article is the same as our hospitals. The rituals that the medicine man and vestal maidens do to the natives is very much like what our doctors and nurses do to us when we go to the hospital. Thinking this way, makes me understand that what I thought was painful and horrific at first, is the way of life for Naciremas.
Can you apply cultural relativist point of view to this reading?
Yes, I can apply cultural relativist point of view to this reading. Although it is difficult to do because my own culture is deep-rooted in my mind. One needs to look at a culture and be able to accept and understand that people do what they do because that’s how they were raised and that’s their way of life. Having been raised in my home country and now living in the U.S., has given me the opportunity to experience two different cultures. Living in the U.S. was somewhat of a culture shock at first but I have come to respect both cultures and accept their differences.
What do you learn from this exercise?
I have learned from reading and analyzing this reading that every culture is different and they need to be respected even if they don’t coincide with the way of life that we’re use to. We need to look beyond ethnocentrism in order to appreciate and understand other cultures. We can’t judge people’s culture just because they’re different from ours. Furthermore, we can’t compare our culture to others and think that our culture is better.