The Ethnographic Perspective – In The Style of the Nacirema

I’m completely stuck.

For this assignment, make sure to review the article “Body Ritual of the Nacirema” by Horace Miner that is under the week 1 learning resources. You may also want to review the articles on fieldwork that are also listed with your week 1 resources.

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Guidelines

For this assignment you should conduct an observation in a setting that you are familiar with (examples are a religious service, a coffee shop, an airport, a sporting event, a concert, etc.). The only criteria is that you should be familiar with this setting. You should conduct observations in your chosen setting for at least one hour and take notes on the different activities and behaviors you observe. You also should make sure to provide a detailed physical description of the setting itself. However, you must present your findings in an essay using the style Miner used in his Nacirema article. In other words, you should approach this familiar setting if you are studying it as an anthropologist viewing a foreign culture for the first time and making it seem ‘strange’ or ‘exotic’ to the reader. Your goal is to write your essay so that even someone from the same culture may not recognize it right away (similar to how some of you may not have realized that Miner was describing basic American personal hygiene and health care in his description). The goal is not to reveal exactly what you are describing but allow the reader to figure it out through your creative description.

You should conclude your essay with a discussion on how you see this assignment as relating to ethnocentrism and cultural relativism. How has this assignment changed the way you view cultures that are different from your own? How has this assignment changed the way you view your own culture? Please add any additional thoughts you may have on the ways that anthropologists should approach the study of a particular society.

Make sure that your paper is 1000-1500 words long, with numbered pages.

Make sure that your paper is double-spaced, with one-inch margins.

Use in-text citations in AAA (American Anthropological Association) or APA (American Psychological Association) style.

Record all source documents cited in a reference list at the end of your paper.

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