Horace Miner’s “Body Ritual Among the Nacerima”

This essay should help you

.     Understand the process of the “de-naturalization” of texts
.     Question the “neutral” role of the “expert” or the scholarly gaze
.     Examine rhetorical strategies evident in satirical essays 

Horace Miner’s 1956 anthropological essay, “Body Ritual Among the Nacerima” is has become a kind a “classic” text, not only for students of anthropology, but in cultural studies circles. Miner’s essay, meant to be a kind of tongue-in-cheek satirical look at a highly unusual culture, “denaturalizes”or makes strange the familiar so that we may better perceive the contours of a particular society. His essay, too, exposes the failures of the anthropological gaze of the “expert” and of academic method and language in general, which represents itself as all-knowing and universal--a kind of god which stands outside the culture in questions. 
Read the essay once through quickly and see how far long it takes you before you realize what is going on...Once you figure out the “trick,” go back and read the essay again carefully, asking yourself why we are so quick to believe the “expert” voice of the anthropologist.