A Nuer Way of Thinking

 When we started discussing The Nuer, I was instantly drawn in and was excited. I was interested in the way they did things, how they acted on a daily basis, how they spent their time, and how they viewed others. I was curious as to how they thought about other people. Their culture is different and reading about them made me realize they do so many necessary things because of the need to survive. We also have the need to survive but we do things completely different, we act completely different, and we think about things that fulfill us in a different way. The Nuer are independent, they work hard, and I view them as very strong individuals. The men play a very big role and they are viewed higher than the woman. Family is very important to the Nuer almost as important as their cattle. The Nuer protect their herd and protect everyone around them which is pretty close to how we are here as Americans. We protect what is ours and we look out for our family members, and the people around us most of the time. Even though we have all new technology, and different jobs to make money and survive, they don’t let that affect the way they still do things, and that says a lot about who they are.

 When I think about the Nuer and a theorist we have read about so far, I think about Weber and how he views how a society works. Weber believes that you as a person are influenced by your surroundings. When I think of myself compared to the Nuer, I would say I would be influenced easier than they would be because they are so used to how they do things. I am not saying they would want change or to try something new but they simply know how to do things their way and that’s how they know they will survive. One example I can think of from class, was when we discussed how the Nuer sometimes don’t exactly get along with others due to the idea of having their own way of doing things and raising their cattle. What others are doing or how other people raise their cattle doesn’t affect the Nuer entirely because they already have a way of doing it and succeeding with it.

I think it may be easier for myself to be able to say that I always want change and to try new things but the society we have, things around us are always changing. We are used to trying new things and we are used to being influenced to try new things. I agree with Weber when it comes to people being influenced by their surroundings. I think other people in the same society as myself would say they are easily influenced as well and that could be a good or bad thing. I wonder how the Nuer would be influenced if they came to America and vice versa if I went to be with the Nuer? What would influence myself in a new surrounding?

3 thoughts on “A Nuer Way of Thinking

  1. In the beginning I had a hard time getting into reading The Nuer, to me reading introductions suck. On the other hand as we kept reading and reading I starting to like reading The Nuer. I got a glimpse in another culture that was nothing like my own, it became so interesting. I like how you describe the characteristics of The Nuer and what there daily lives could be like. The Nuer have such an interesting dynamic that I am glad we got a chance to read this book. Great post!

  2. Your post definitely makes me think of today’s society. A lot of the time, not always though, we tend to try to get our elders, ex. parents, grandparents, to do things the way we do them with new technology, and they refuse. While we might get upset because they don’t want to “get with the times” they have a valid point behind their decision. Why change something if it already works for you and you are content. So instead of arguing and poking fun at people who do things differently or in an “old way”, we should just let them live their life as long as they are happy and healthy.

  3. This was an interesting discussion. I wish that you all had discussed Weber more, since Lexi is saying that this theory is applicable to analysis of the Nuer (or, at least, the information we have on the Nuer).

    Is Weber just about “how a person is influenced by their surroundings”? I wish someone had expanded on that a bit. Because a key point of Weber is that people are influenced BUT that then results in actions by those people, thus creating their own world. So, Calvinist Protestantism gave rise to particular kinds of behaviors that contributed to the rise of an actual economic system and its political institutions – capitalism. That’s a super important distinction to make!

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