D from Harvard University in A brief description of each theoretical mentor will be provided as will a "link" if possible. Paul Riesman, to whom she dedicates, in part, her first publication: The issues presented in these specific publications include:
The Interpretation of Culture s After Television Lila Abu-Lughod If we were to open, as Clifford Geertz did one of his most celebrated not to mention controversial essays, with a story about how I began my recent fieldwork in a village, there would be telling differences.
On the west bank of the Nile and a ferry ride from Luxor, the hamlet was in and among the Pharaonic temples that for over a century archaeologists had been unearthing and tourists — now in air-conditioned buses, on donkeys, or riding bicycles — had been admiring.
When I arrived in the spring ofthe friendly welcome I received was also due to intense curiosity. Here, finally, was "the wife. This was a story that had too closely echoed earlier accounts by Jesuits and Orientalists of "the Egyptian peasant," a timeless creature of habit and violence.
He had made a special point of meeting Zaynab, whose household had been our friend's haven. Her weathered face and unkempt hair, peeking out from her patterned black head shawl, betrayed exposure to the sun and the pressures of being a mother of six at that time whose husband had migrated to the city.
She asked for news of the folklorist "Leez," as she would do every time I arrived in the village over the next five years, whether from Cairo or the United States. I was forced to exaggerate my knowledge of Liz even as I tried to distance myself from other foreigners I did not know and whose morals and behavior in the village could not be guaranteed.
I played on my half Palestinian identity to distinguish myself.
But in the end, Zaynab knew I was from the world of the foreigners she had met, and she took advantage of our time together to improve her understanding of fellowships, dissertations, the cost of living in the United State, research, and books, among other more troubling aspects of Euro-American life.
I was a message bearer and informant as well its a researcher. In my story of rapport, moreover, instead of a dramatic police raid on an illegal cockfight that people passionately cared about, I would have to make do with the quiet pleasure of recognition that Zaynab and her children, like most families, evinced when I professed an interest in television.
Would I like to watch? They brought out their little television set. They apologized, as they fiddled with its homemade aerial, that the set was black and white. And they invited me to come watch with them any evening, pitying me for not having access to a television set of my own.
Television, not the spontaneous common fear of the police, bonded us. And this bond began to separate me from other foreigners, people who generally, as the villagers knew, did not follow the Egyptian television melodramas they loved.
Thick Description, Still Despite the differences my story suggests in the kinds of worlds people now inhabit more interconnected and, not unrelated, the kinds of subjects anthropologists find worth studying mass mediaI want to argue that Geertz's call for thick description as the method of ethnography is still compelling.
Many of the studies of popular culture, and especially television, that I have come across are disappointing. They do not seem to be trying to offer profound insights into the human condition, or even into the social, cultural, and political dynamics of particular communities — goals anthropology has always, perhaps with hubris, set for itself.
Is it the object, television, that thwarts us? We are not dealing with intricate rituals or complex kinship systems, or even with histories and structures of conjuncture in colonial moments, all of which have deep traditions in the discipline.
Television partakes of the ephemerality of the postmodern and is associated, whether here or there, as Geertz likes to put it, with the kind of ordinary people some call the masses. Does the taint of lowbrow status and the apparent banality of televison rub off on those who study it?
Or is it, as Jean Baudrillard might have it, that in a world of simulation and simulacra, of which television is such a conspicuous part, notions like the human condition have become hopelessly obsolete?
In a recent review of some studies of "resistance," Sherry Ortner diagnosed their weaknesses as being caused by "ethnographic refusal. If there is one theme that has dominated the study of media, especially television, in the last two decades, it is resistance. And if there is one thing that can be said about these studies, it is that despite their considerable theoretical sophistication they are ethnographically thin.
Janice Radway's study of romance readers is hailed as a classic that proves the value of ethnography in analyzing popular culture. Books with promising tides like Television and Everyday Life intelligently criticize the finest examples of what are known in the business as reception and audience studies and propose that more ethnographic and psychoanalytic case studies are needed.
The author of this particular book argues that "an enquiry into the audience should be an enquiry, not into a set of preconstituted individuals or rigidly defined social groups, but into a set of daily practices and discourses within which the complex act of watching television is placed alongside others, and through which that complex act is itself constituted.Lila Abu-Lughod: "Do muslim women really need saving: Anthropological reflections on cultural relativism and its others" El ensayo explora la ética de la guerra contra el terrorismo (USA) preguntándose si la antropología puede proveer una visión crítica a las justificaciones que el gobierno norteamericano ha dado para invadir Afghanistan, en términos de liberación de la mujeres afghanas.
Do Muslim Women Need Saving? is an indictment of a mindset that has justified all manner of foreign interference, including military invasion, in the name of rescuing women from Islam--as well as a moving portrait of women's actual experiences, and of the contingencies with which they live.
1 Anthropology , Fall Readings for Writing Women’s Worlds by Lila Abu-Lughod Preface (September 11) 1. How does Abu-Lughod set you up for her position in the Awlad ‘Ali Bedouin?
LILA ABU-LUGHOD, Veiled sentiments: honour and poetry in a Bedouin society, Thirtieth Anniversary Edition. Oakland: University of California Press, , pp. ISBN Abu-Lughod contributed by showing the awkward relationship between anthropology and feminism.
“Writing Against Culture” and Veiled sentiments, illustrated a new. My second book, Writing Women’s Worlds, framed as a feminist ethnography, used individual stories to make a larger argument about “writing against culture” (writing against typifications of social structure and cultural form by attending to internal argument, individual lives, and complex social dynamics) as a means of intervening in vexed .
Lila Abu-Lughod. Cambridge, MA: Har-vard University Press, pages. $ Women, Islam, and Resistance in the Arab World, by Maria Holt and Haifaa Muslim women: “writing against culture” — that is, using individual stories to make a larger argument while critically engag-.