What Is a Nacirema Story?


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A Nacerima story is a description of another culture in anthropological terms that makes it sound alien. The twist of the story is that "Nacerima" is the word "American" spelled backward, and the story describes common, everyday American things in strange terms. Nacerima stories assist in exposing ethnocentrism.

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Horace Mitchell Miner wrote "The Body Ritual among the Nacerima" as a piece of anthropological satire in 1956. Doctors are described as medicine men, dentists are described as holy mouth men and psychologists are described as listeners. The satire has been adopted and expanded by other anthropologists and sociologists, such as "The Mysterious Fall of the Nacerima" by Neil B. Thompson.

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