Although there is nothing new about how anthropologists can be the observed instead of simply being the observer and that they can also be interviewed while interviewing, no one has studied the kinds of questions they receive from the people that they study and interact with in the field. Questions that research participants ask the anthropologists during fieldwork provide a critical way to reflect upon historical and persistent issues related to field-work, such as positionality, self-reflexivity and methodology. Based on fourteen months of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork among two Hmong communities in Laos and the United States, this article examines some of the questions I received from the people in my study and suggests that anthropologists need to pay more critical attention to these questions as a source of self-reflexivity and positionality in the process of ethnographic writing.
Anthropological Self-reflexivity through the Eyes of Study Participants
Optimizing the Dynamic Conflict of Interest in Transnational Migration
In the traditional discourses on modern international migration, the 'sending' countries of the South are supposed to derive three kinds of static benefits—remittances, transfer of technology, and return migration. In today's postmodern transnationalization-through-migration context, the stakes are no longer static but dynamic, and the relative benefits to the 'receiving' countries of the North are much bigger than those that they 'concede'. Does the South have a say in assessing these benefits for the North? Only in an equitable adversary analysis—that is, in a strategic rather than standard cost-benefit assessment, in which each party steps into each other's shoes while on a level playing field—would the dynamic conflict of interest be addressed in ways that would produce a truly global quest for development.
The American Jewish Committee and Israel’s Palestinian Minority, 1948–1966
Geoffrey P. Levin
This article examines the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) engagement with Israel regarding the state’s Palestinian-Arab minority. It focuses on the period of military government (1948–1966), when the rights of most Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel were curtailed under military rule. In the mid-1950s, AJC leaders became interested in examining and alleviating the plight of the Arab minority. Rather than publicly confronting Israel, the AJC privately lobbied Israeli officials on the matter and later attempted to educate Israelis about liberalism using ideas more closely associated with its work in America than its human rights advocacy abroad. To understand the AJC’s motives, the article points toward AJC’s domestic civil rights and ‘human relations’ activity, its distinct form of pro-Israel non-Zionism, and its concerns about ‘Arab propaganda’, anti- Semitism, and Jewish-Christian relations in America.
In this article, I draw on ethnographic data from previous fieldworks among Turkish immigrant families in a Norwegian suburb (2008–2009) and, more recently, on preventative actions against radicalization (2015–2016). As point of departure, I outline two events considered morally outrageous by many of my interlocutors: the Gaza War (2008–2009) and the repression of the Syrian civil uprising in 2011. By contextualizing moral outrage and analyzing certain incidents as “triggers” among people who are already outraged, I aim at providing a better understanding of that emotion’s generic power. I will also give an example of how a “trigger” incident can provide an emotional outlet. In seeing moral outrage as a kind of “prism” through which people negotiate values around right and wrong, good and bad, I will argue that these negotiations might as well result in generating emotional relief and to restored integrity.
The Unrequited Love of Rabbi Marcus Ehrenpreis
Dr Marcus Ehrenpreis was already a prominent figure on the European Jewish scene when he in 1914 travelled through the first pangs of World War One to become the Chief Rabbi of Stockholm, a small and largely dormant Jewish community in the periphery of Jewish life in Europe. This would seem an unexpected move by a man who had served as the personal secretary of Theodor Herzl at the first Zionist congress in Basel 1897 and as the Chief Rabbi of Bulgaria for fourteen years and who had made himself known as a leading proponent for making Hebrew the language of a Jewish spiritual and cultural renewal. Instead he was to make Sweden and the Swedish language (!) the central elements of his remaining life and the experimental ground for his vision of a deepened and energized spiritual and cultural Judaism in a dynamic relationship with the non-Jewish world.
Linguistic and Cultural Images of the Kurtijo Sephardic Courtyard
Agnieszka August-Zarębska and Zuzanna Bułat Silva
The present article investigates the concept of kurtijo, roughly ‘courtyard’, ‘home’, in Judeo-Spanish (known also as Ladino, Djudezmo or Sephardi), the language of Sephardic Jews, currently under threat of extinction (Harris 1994, 2011). It argues that after the Holocaust kurtijo became a culturally salient word and it may be regarded as a cultural key word in Ladino. Dictionaries and texts of contemporary Ladino poets will be used as the main source of data. The meaning of kurtijo will be expressed in the form of an NSM explication (Goddard and Wierzbicka 2002, 2014).
From The Last of the Just and A Woman Named Solitude to the Posthumous Narratives
Fifty years after his Goncourt Prize-winning début, and three years after the author’s death, a first posthumous novel, L’Etoile du matin (Morning Star) was published by André Schwarz-Bart and his wife and co-author, Simone Schwarz-Bart. Their respective roles in the writing process have never been transparent, and the lack of interviews, as well as limited correspondence, keep this situation unchanged today. A new volume of their unfinished cycle, entitled L’Ancêtre en solitude (The Ancestor in solitude), came out in 2015. The new narratives continue to explore how margins can be minimized in order to make us see similarities rather than differences. Critics have marginalized an ‘extravagant stranger’ who has been misunderstood for his biracial and bicultural transracial imagery, a ‘Fremdkörper’ in the canon of both Caribbean and French-Jewish literature. His manifold displacements allow us not only to ‘read with different eyes’, but also to read one historical trauma in and through another (Mary Jacobus).
What Comes First? Global Perspective and African Experiences
Socio-economic change and human mobility are constantly interactive processes, so to ask whether migration or development comes first is nonsensical. Yet in both popular and political discourse it has become the conventional wisdom to argue that promoting economic development in the Global South has the potential to reduce migration to the North. This carries the clear implication that such migration is a bad thing, and poor people should stay put. This 'sedentary bias' is a continuation of colonial policies designed to mobilise labour for mines and plantations, while preventing permanent settlement in the cities. European policy-makers and academics are particularly concerned with flows from Africa, and measures taken by the European Union and its member states are often designed to reduce these - often in the guise of well-meaning development policies. By contrast, many migration scholars regard human mobility as a normal part of social transformation processes, and a way in which people can exercise agency to improve their livelihoods. This article examines these problems, first by providing a brief history of academic debates on international migration and development. It goes on to look at the politics of migration and development, using both EU policy and African approaches as examples. An alternative approach to migration and development is presented, based on a conceptual framework derived from the analysis of social transformation processes.
Building on a long-term, multi-sited ethnographic research project, this article illustrates and interprets the transformation processes and empowerment strategies pursued by an originally Zazaki-speaking, multigenerational Alevi family in the Turkish-German transnational context. The family, which includes a number of Alevi priests (seyyid or dede), hails from the Dersim4 region of eastern Anatolia, and their family biography is closely bound up with a traumatic mass murder and crime against humanity that local people call “Dersim 38“ or “Tertele.“ Against the background of this tragedy, the family experienced internal migration (through forced remigration and settlement) thirty years before its labor migration to Germany. This family case study accordingly examines migration as a multi-faceted process with plural roots and routes. The migration of people from Turkey neither begins nor ends with labor migration to Germany. Instead, it involves the continuous, nonlinear, and multidirectional movement of human beings, despite national border regimes and politics. As a result, we can speak of migration processes that are at once voluntary and forced, internal and external, national and transnational. 5 In this particular case, the family members, even the pioneer generation labor migrants who have since become shuttle migrants, maintain close relationships with Dersim even as they spend most of their lives in a metropolitan German city. At the same time, they confront moments of everyday in- and exclusion in this transnational migration space that define them as both insiders and out- siders. Keeping these asymmetrical attributions in mind, I examine the family's sociocultural, religious, and political practices and resources from a transna- tional perspective, paying close attention to their conceptualization of identity and belonging as well as their empowerment strategies.
Jim Burns, Graham Holderness, John Mole, Maurice Rutherford, Andrrew Sant, Mahendra Solanki, Sue Stewart and Richard Godden
Laying Something Down
I Wish I Had Asked
Five Views of the Hinterland
The Gilded Ones
Abbreviated: An Encrypted Alphabet for Europe’s Jewry
Bourgeois Diaspora 1979–1992