Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco by Paul RabinowIn this landmark study, now celebrating thirty years in print, Paul Rabinow takes as his focus the fieldwork that anthropologists do. How valid is the process? To what extent do the cultural data become artifacts of the interaction between anthropologist and informants? Having first published a more standard ethnographic study about Morocco, Rabinow here describes a series of encounters with his informants in that study, from a French innkeeper clinging to the vestiges of a colonial past, to the rural descendants of a seventeenth-century saint. In a new preface Rabinow considers the thirty-year life of this remarkable book and his own distinguished career.
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Theory & Religion Series: Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco by Paul Rabinow
As a novice anthropologist of religion, picking my way slowly through the history of American anthropology—and conducting fieldwork at the same time—encountering Rabinow was nothing less than an emancipating experience. The book extended my critical aptitudes and altered the way I think about and do fieldwork. Reflections was, in its day, quite controversial. And Pierre Bourdieu, who contributed the afterword to the edition, expressed some ambivalence xv-xvi. Suffice it to say, the book is difficult to classify. It has a literary texture to it and reads like mixture of travelogue, diary, theory of ethnography, and critique of anthropology. Ultimately, Reflections underscores a number of now axiomatic themes in the academy and accomplishes several important tasks.
The farmers, who tamed the land and had some familiarity with Moroccan culture, s ii. The functionaries who did not, s 3 most important things the Moroccans keep from the French: 1. Language, 2. Women, 3. Religion not money!
This, among many other details within the book led me to view anthropologists almost as glorified travelers. This notion became especially apparent when Rabinow recounts his sexual experience. However, the story does not fit with the interplays of other relationships Rabinow describes, especially in his experience with Ibrahim. I really felt the imagery in all of its aspects. I know that I may say this a great deal in class, but its because I'm not originally a Lang student. I am in Parsons studying Design and Management.
Two days after the assassination of Robert Kennedy, Paul Rabinow decided to sell everything he owned and move to Morocco to become an anthropologist. The year was and the world was abuzz with change, revolution, and exploration. Rabinow clearly emphasizes personal experience in his dynamic definition of anthropology:. However much one moves in the direction of participation, it is always the case that one is still both an outsider and an observer Rabinow Addressing his role as the participant observer, Rabinow aims to be a cautious and self-aware interpreter. Rabinow explains,.