Fieldwork and Cultural Understanding
Publication Year: 2013
Encountering Morocco introduces readers to life in this North African country through vivid accounts of fieldwork as personal experience and intellectual journey. We meet the contributors at diverse stages of their careers–from the unmarried researcher arriving for her first stint in the field to the seasoned fieldworker returning with spouse and children. They offer frank descriptions of what it means to take up residence in a place where one is regarded as an outsider, learn the language and local customs, and struggle to develop rapport. Moving reflections on friendship, kinship, and belief within the cross-cultural encounter reveal why study of Moroccan society has played such a seminal role in the development of cultural anthropology.
Published by: Indiana University Press
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Table of Contents
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...a version of chapter 4 previously appeared in Anthropological Quar-terly and is being reprinted with permission. The anecdotes in chap-ter 3 appeared in In and Out of Morocco, by david a. McMurray, and ...
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...pologists have come to understand it. each essay takes us into a spe-cific part of the country through the unique voice of the writer. each delivers a very local story, a vignette of how a particular in di vidual has done fieldwork in a specific context. and each stands as a per-sonal meditation on cross- cultural understanding, the way that one ...
1. Arabic or French? The Politics of Parole at a Psychiatric Hospital in Morocco
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...it is Thursday morning, and the patients and doctors of the open women’s ward at a Moroccan psychiatric hospital are gathering in the lounge for the weekly ijtima", an hour or so of sharing stories, experiences, and impressions of life at the hospital. as the women take their seats on the couches— made in a traditional design, but ...
2. Time, Children, and Getting Ethnography Done in Southern Morocco
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When ethnographies assume polished form, the process of selecting a field site usually appears to have been a serendipitous alignment of intellectual commitments and affective attachments. The “arrival narrative” begins to take shape in those first days at the field site. as the narrative becomes fixed in the published ethnography, the an-...
3. Thinking about Class and Status in Morocco
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...a barber worked directly across the street from the front door of our apartment in the late 1980s in nador, a gritty boomtown in the berber north that was exploding with the repatriated wealth of emi-grants away in europe as well as the revenues from goods smuggled in from spain and hash smuggled out of Morocco.1 The barber’s shop ...
4. Forgive Me, Friend: Mohammed and Ibrahim
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...in Morocco i tend— like many ameri can anthropologists— to seek rapport with a smile. retailers in fes refer to ameri can tourists by the code word miska— chewing gum— meaning they are all teeth and lips. (british tourists, in contrast, are ad- dam al- barid, which terized ameri cans as tragically sad friends. The united states is so ...
5. Suspicion, Secrecy, and Uncomfortable Negotiations Over Knowledge Production in Southwestern Morocco
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Power relations inherent in the encounter between anthropolo gist and informant engaged the advocates of reflexive anthropology work-). Their analyses have reconfig ured the practice and writing of ethnography over the last three decades. Questions of truth, dis-closure, and suspicion shape not only anthropologists’ relationships ...
6. The Activist and the Anthropologist
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...in his afterword to Paul rabinow’s Reflections on Fieldwork in Mo-rocco (2007 , 166–67), Pierre bourdieu cites Jean Piaget’s fa-mous dictum, “it is not so much that children don’t know how to talk: they try out many languages until they find one their parents can understand,” and concludes, “ethnology will have taken a giant step ...
7. A Distant Episode: Religion and Belief in Moroccan Ethnography
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...it was a bright June day in fes, with perfect blue skies, just before the heat of summer would lie on the Ville nouvelle1 like an unquiet conscience. today my Moroccan mother- in- law, Jamila, had been promising to take me to the tomb of sidi bou Ghalib in the medina. for weeks i had been interviewing medical doctors, herbalists, mid-...
8. Shortcomings of a Reflexive Tool Kit; or, Memoir of an Undutiful Daughter
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...bougainvilleas of multiple colors— burgundy, yellow, rose, and white— draped the walls of what seemed to be a timeless corner villa and separated it from the small streets paved with a puzzle, hard bricks imposing metal doors, a tiny cemented walkway led up the stairs to the inside of this art- deco villa where there was practically no gar-...
9. Reflecting on Moroccan Encounters: Meditations on Home, Genre, and the Performance of Everyday Life
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Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.There is a story, always ahead of you. barely existing. only gradually do you attach yourself to it and feed it. You discover the carapace that will contain and test your character. You find in this way the path of your life.i encountered Morocco when i was twenty- four years old. it was, ...
10. The Power of Babies
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...children are of obvious importance to farmers in the high atlas Moun tains of Morocco, as the main source of farm labor and as a preeminent cultural value. Villagers expect to have children, pity those who do not, ask about having them, pray to have them, and consider any equivocation about the desirability of parenthood to be ...
11. Afterword: Anthropologists among Moroccans
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The essays in this volume address topics that, for a long time, were present only at the margins of academic anthropological discourse, if they appeared at all. issues like the anthropologist’s “identity”— the implications of the anthropologist’s origins and how anthropolo-gists construct themselves in the field; the attractions and perils of ...
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Jamila Bargach is the secretary general of the Association Dar Si Hmad, in Sidi Ifni, Morocco. Her most recent book is Orphans of Islam: Family, Abandonment, and Secret Adoption in Morocco. ...
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Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa