Ethnocentrism & Ritualistic Behavior in the Nacirema Culture Ethnocentrism is defined as a belief that one’s own culture is superior. This article uses metaphors’ to describe our own well to do American society. As we read the article we automatically judge and think that the Nacirema’s are barbaric people who seem very uneducated and masochistic, when in fact we follow the same practices. As we read this article, we see the Nacirema as a masochistic culture which gave their possessions for the chance to be treated with rituals they felt purified the body, mind and soul. This was achieved through the treatment and advice of the medicine men, holy mouth men or the listener. When they followed through with the rituals, it was thought to make them more desirable and accepted by others within their own culture. Likewise, the most current American culture has grown to depend on our medical professionals for an array of ailments as well; whether the problem is medical, dental, or psychiatric. We have even started depending on plastic surgeons to take care of imperfections as we see them. We pay to be insured to be able to be admitted in hospitals to be poked and prodded at the hands of physicians. Pharmacists provide us with drugs to treat our infections, pain, and other ailments. We also depend on our dentists for good oral health to prevent systemic infections and psychiatrists whom listen to our emotional debilities and advise us with words and sometimes with medications. Our quick judgment as we read this article demonstrates how ethnocentrisctic we really are. We should practice less judgment and more cultural relativism.
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