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The Concept of Self-reflexivity

The Concept of Self-reflexivity

When I read the sources, I felt like I was being ethnocentric. I thought my own culture was better than all of the others being studied. I also felt like I was not being very objective because it seemed that all other cultures were just as good, if not better than my own (Miner, 1956). The Asian culture is known for being very successful in the business world, so I was surprised to read about all of the failures in the research. American culture is often seen as very aggressive, which can be a disadvantage in the business world. I need to understand my own biases and beliefs about culture.

I think that learning about different cultures and applying cultural relativism has helped me be more understanding of other people’s beliefs and practices. I have a better understanding of how my own biases can prevent me from fully appreciating the diversity that exists in the world (Jonsson, 2014). I also think it is important to remember that not everyone needs to understand everyone else’s beliefs. When my own culture does not agree with those of other cultures, I try to apply cultural relativism to understand why people act the way they do.

The biases include my opinions on what people should or shouldn’t believe. For example, I feel that my culture is superior to any other because we have more tremendous respect for science and logic than those in different parts of the world. I am also biased because I do not believe in magic, miracles, or the supernatural. Spirits, ghosts, and the idea of spells being cast on people are all things that I cannot accept.

I am having problems with my inability to accept certain aspects of other cultures. For example, the idea of supernatural beings or events happening in the world is something that I cannot understand and, therefore, find challenging to accept. Miner’s article discusses Nacirema culture, where he describes the people as being very materialistic and lacking in spirituality (Miner, 1956). By reading this article, I think that I will be able to take an outsider’s perspective on my own culture and better understand why some of the cultural practices that we engage in may seem strange or unusual to others.


Jonsson, R. (2014). Boys’ anti-school culture? Narratives and school practices. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 45 (3), 276-292.

Miner, H (1956). Body ritual among the Nacirema. American Anthropologist, 58(3),503-507.


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In this week’s journal entry, you will critically reflect on your own beliefs and biases about your Final Research Paper topic by using the concept of self-reflexivity. To paraphrase Crapo (2013, sec. 1.3), self-reflexivity is the process of confronting one’s preconceived notions and examining how these may influence how one understands (or misunderstands) others. Understanding biases and beliefs about other cultures helps researchers apply cultural relativism to their work.

The Concept of Self-reflexivity

The Concept of Self-reflexivity

For this journal, consider the sources that you summarized for Part I and Part II of your paper in your Week 3 Assignment Worksheet.

What was your initial response to the sources you read for your paper? Include in-text citations as outlined in the Writing Center’s APA: Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.) guide and complete reference entries in APA format to all sources you will be using for your Final Research Paper.
In the course of this class, you have learned about cultural diversity and how to apply cultural relativism to understand beliefs, practices, and behaviors within their cultural context. How has learning about different cultural practices helped you to understand better how narrowmindedness and prejudice constrict diversity?
Can you identify any biases that you might have about the cultural practices you will discuss in either Part I or Part II of your Final Research Paper?
Identify any problems you might be having in examining your own culture from an etic perspective or the other culture from an emic perspective—Review Miner’s article Body Ritual Among the Nacirema. Download Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, and explain how his discussion of Americans (also known as Nacirema) will help you take an outsider’s perspective on your own culture.
The journal entry should be at least 250 words in length. You should also include a title page and a references page.

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