Body Rituals Among the Manicure

Body Rituals Among the Manicure

Also, the culture that practices different rituals has a different belief system. One culture may place great importance on preserving the land while others on industry and development. People who believe they are superior to those practicing these rituals, or who are ethnocentric, have a biased opinion already based. It is important to research and collect data before creating an opinion on a matter. In sociology, it can lead to many positive outcomes instead of negative when the right steps are taken. Horace Minor helped show this in his article by disguising it about his own people ND the modern day world.

Key words: Cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, Manicure, research, bias In Horace Miners article, “Body Rituals Among the Manicure,” the customs of a culture are introduced centering around one main room filled with shrines and important material objects. The purpose of the article was not to show how out of the ordinary or weird the customs are in this culture, but rather how they might look to an outsider. This culture is obsessed with looks and commits many rituals to help maintain beauty. They have a room devoted to practice these rituals in and practice them every day.

By writing this article based on the older or primitive days, the reader forms a bias on the people and their ways of living. This article is actually based on the American people, but writing it under a cover story shows how easily the wrong bias or opinion could be formed without all the facts. Horace Minor wrote this article to help promote the practice of cultural relativism on any culture in the world, defeat ethnocentrism of certain cultures, and help show that research is required before an opinion on any topic. Furthermore, Minor wrote this article on the “Manicure” or American people.

Based on the article, these people are part of a very ritualistic culture in which they spend several hours a day in a specific room. These practices are very private but people subject themselves to great “torture’ or “pain” in order to minimize the decaying ways of the body. (Minor, 1956) They enable the help of medicine men and holy mouth-men to dole out trinkets and practice painful procedures to promote beauty of the body and teeth. Sexual intercourse is widely discussed and certain procedures are taken to prevent pregnancy. He discusses the act of bathing in a shrine.

In all laity, this discusses present day America. Americans spend several hours a day in the bathroom focusing on enhancing their beauty. They take showers or baths every day to clean off the grime of the day. Doctors and dentists are seen on a semi-regular basis to decrease the risk of illness or infection. Women in present day America are obsessed with body image and do many different types of makeovers to themselves to be beautiful. Also, as discussed, sex is no longer a taboo subject. Condoms and birth control are used to help prevent pregnancy and are a social norm in the society.

The fact hat this was written in disguise helps show how easy it is to pass judgment on what one does not know or what is unfamiliar. Furthermore, forming biases and judgments on the unfamiliar can lead to many problems for cultures. It is imperative that people try to practice cultural relativism. As defined by Sociology by Richard T. Schaeffer, cultural relativism means, “viewing people’s behavior from the perspective of their own culture. ” (Schaeffer, 2012) This places a priority on understanding a culture that is different from one’s own. This stresses that different cultures have different social norms and rules to regulate them.

Cultural relativism does not necessarily mean agreeing with all the rituals, but rather keeping an open mind of what is shed to light. For example, in Horace Minors article, one would keep an open mind to the culture’s obsession to beauty and try to understand from their point of view. Vanity is not important in all cultures, but in some it is a priority. It is important to read this article with a fresh mind free of bias and try not to form opinions until all the facts are given. Cultural relativism relates directly to ethnocentrism, which is a hidden topic behind his article.

When cultures feel they are superior to other cultures, facts are often overlooked and prejudices are formed. For example, a culture might look down on the Manicure culture based on the fact their primary concern is physical appearances and the strange rituals that occupy it. The article speaks of this culture as weird and gives many points explaining what makes it different. The culture is showed as masochistic and obsessed with the outside of their body is thought to decay. Reading this, one might get the sense of superiority. An American reading this would think, “l am so glad We don’t have titular like that.

We are too modern to associate with those kind of principles. ” Little do the Americans know, it is written about them in their modern world. Ethnocentrism comes from little knowledge of a subject and a closed mind. It is imperative in this modern world with all the research available to search a topic and learn everything about it. Ethnocentrism can lead to civil wars and bad relationships whereas cultural relativism can lead to world peace. When it comes to qualitative research methodology, it important to conduct research on a topic. If one wished to research the tribe of the Manicure, they could use en of several methods.

First, ethnology or observation could be used. If one knew about the real culture behind the article, the Americans, they could interact or place themselves in their lives. Notes and studies could be conducted based on the inner workings of a culture. For example, one might watch someone at the dentist or go to a doctors appointment to see how the workings of the holy mouth-man work. If this method is impossible or improbable, they could also conduct an experiment. They could try to find someone not obsessed with public image and place him or her in the American tribe or culture.

Also, experiments could be used on different age groups and with different tests. This could answer any questions a researcher might have. Next, it is very important for a researcher to use existing sources. They could use previously done studies to answer their hypothesizes. Also, these secondary studies may have information not previously known. This method is most likely to happen if before someone places an opinion on a culture. No matter what research is conducted or how many methods are used, data should be collected in order to ensure a proper reading or opinion of a culture.

In conclusion, Horace Minor brought to light many biases and cultural differences in his article “Body Rituals Among the Manicure. ” By writing about Americans in a primitive and barbaric way, he was able to present how easily it is to pass judgment on what one does not. One reading this might form a biased opinion without doing research or keeping an open mind. This article helps show one to practice cultural relativism in every day life. It is imperative to realize that just because a culture is different, it is not wrong. Furthermore, defeating ethnocentrism is also an important hidden aspect of this article.

A reader might assume a higher status than the culture written about based on some of the rituals mentioned. Reading about shrines or a room dedicated to beauty could seem absurd to anyone, until they realize that it is describing a bathroom in accurate detail and with truthful facts. Realizing that one is no better than anybody else because of a specific belief or choice is an important lesson to be learned in sociology. As learned by the article, one must collect research before forming any opinion. Research is they key ingredient to success in learning about other cultures or arming an opinion on them.

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