I) Carefully read Horace Miner’s Body Ritual Among the Nacirema.
II) Pretend you are an alien Anthropologist/Sociologist and your spaceship has just landed at the College Campus. Due to your planet’s superior technology, you have a cloaking device making you invisible to the inhabitants of this planet. You have 24 hours to explore the area (including the parking lot, offices, classrooms, library, bathrooms, etc.) without being detected and report back to your superiors. Your written report must include the following:
• Norms: What appear to be the rules these beings follow at this place? How can you tell? What seems to be the reasoning behind these rules?
• Material culture: Describe some of the objects you observed. Explain how they are used. Based on your observations, what do you think is the purpose of the objects you are describing?
• Overall purpose: What is the purpose of this place you’ve landed? Why does it exist? Why do beings congregate here? What things make you reach this conclusion? Explain!
III) That report to your superiors is your writing assignment. It should be approximately three to five pages, double-spaced, 11 font. Your assignment will be graded as follows:
A) Class/Personal Information: In the upper left corner, indicate your name, my name, and your
class time (3 points)
B) Title: This is NOT to be the title of the article; this is the title of your paper! (5 Points)
C) Introduction: Explain what you are going to write about. An introduction introduces what
you’re going to write about in your paper. It does NOT summarize what Miner wrote. When I
read your introduction, I should know what elements I will find in the balance of your paper.
This means you will introduce yourself (as an alien) and your mission to analyze and understand
the norms, material culture, and overall purpose of this place at which you landed. (6 points)
D) Discussion of Norms: You must indicate and explain three norms (see II above). Points will be
given for depth and creativity. (30 points)
E) Discussion of Material Culture: You must indicate and explain three elements of material culture
(see II above). Points will be given for depth and creativity. (30 points)
F) Discussion of Overall Purpose: You must clearly indicate what type of place this is and make a
strong , clear case for your reasons (see II above). Points will be given for depth and creativity.
G) Conclusion: Briefly summarize what you wrote about in your paper. This will summarize and tie
together all of the elements of your paper. (6 points)
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