Ethnographic Encounters in Israel

Ethnographic Encounters in Israel

Poetics and Ethics of Fieldwork
Edited by Fran Markowitz
Distribution: World
Publication date: 5/28/2013
Format: paper 240 pages, 5 b&w illus.
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-00861-9
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Israel is a place of paradoxes, a small country with a diverse population and complicated social terrain. Studying its culture and social life means confronting a multitude of ethical dilemmas and methodological challenges. The first-person accounts by anthropologists engage contradictions of religion, politics, identity, kinship, racialization, and globalization to reveal fascinating and often vexing dimensions of the Israeli experience. Caught up in pressing existential questions of war and peace, social justice, and national boundaries, the contributors explore the contours of Israeli society as insiders and outsiders, natives and strangers, as well as critics and friends.

Author Bio

Fran Markowitz is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She is author of Sarajevo: A Bosnian Kaleidoscope and Coming of Age in Post-Soviet Russia and editor (with Michael Ashkenazi) of Sex, Sexuality and the Anthropologist and (with Anders H. Stefansson) of Homecomings: Unsettling Paths of Return.


"A compelling anthology on the diversity of contemporary Israel by a wide range of insightful observers who challenge conventional images. The willingness of the contributors to speak openly, bravely, and critically about the dilemmas of doing research in Israel makes this volume of great value as a contribution to anthropological debates on ethnographic fieldwork." —Ruth Behar, author of An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba

"A collection of first-person accounts . . . [of the] contradictions of religion, politics, identity, kinship, racialization, and globalization in the fascinating and often vexing dimensions of the Israeli experience." —Jewish Book World

"[I]ntroduces readers to a variety of ethnographic settings that are not often part of discussions about Israel." —H-Judaic

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Edgy Ethnography in a Little Big Place Fran Markowitz

Part I. Confrontations and Conversions
1. How Christian Pilgrims Made Me Israeli Jackie Feldman
2. Mission Not Accomplished: Negotiating Power Relations and Vulnerability Among Messianic Jews in Israel Tamir Erez
3. Doing Dimona: An Americanist Anthropologist in an Africanized Israel John L. Jackson, Jr.

Part II. State Categories and Global Flows
4. Seeking Truth in Hip Hop Music and Hip Hop Ethnography Uri Dorchin
5. The State of the Family: Eldercare as a Practice of Corporal Symbiosis by Filipina Migrant Workers Keren Mazuz
6. Diasporas Collide: Competing Holocausts, Imposed Whiteness and the Seemingly Jewish non-Jew Researcher in Israel Gabriella Djerrahian

Part III. Fieldwork to the Point of Worry
7. Traveling Between Reluctant Neighbors: Researching with Jews and Bedouin Arabs in the Northern Negev Emily McKee
8. On the Matter of Return to Israel/Palestine: Autoethnographic Reflections Jasmin Habib
9. Some Kind of Masochist: Fieldwork in Unsettling Territory Joyce Dalsheim
10. The Impurities of Experience: Researching Prostitution in Israel Hilla Nehushtan
11. Falling in Love with a Criminal? On Immersion and Self-Restraint Virginia R. Dominguez
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