read Horace Miner’s “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” and watch Sheena Iyengar’s video about the “art of choosing” (link below) before responding. 

Reply to one of the two questions (below):

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1.  It’s very easy to see what is strange in the unfamiliar “body ritual” of the Nacirema. Much harder is it to see the strange in our familiar American society. Why is this? Explain some similarities between the two “different” cultures. Is body ritual among the Americans just as — if not more — extreme than body ritual among the Nacirema?

2.  Sheena Iyengar’s video about “the art of choosing” raises interesting questions about the power of culture in our society. American culture, according to Iyengar, is “choice-centered” and so very different in this sense from other countries, like, for one example, Japan. The basic assumption is that choice is good; that more options lead to better choices and that we should never say no to the freedom to choose. But what if our choices are largely “false choices”? I have in mind the example of nail polish at the end of the video. Without the labels, no one could tell the difference between “Adorable” pink and “Ballet Slippers” pink. Discuss some choices that feel like this, i. e., that appears to be no choice at all. Do we really need 30-40 different cereal brands in the grocery store? Nail polish and cereal are two examples: provide your own example and discuss.   

Art of Choosing