Chapter

Prisoners of Love

Carolyn Nordstrom and Antonius C. G. M. Robben

in Fieldwork Under Fire

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1996 | ISBN: 9780520089938
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520915718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520089938.003.0002
Prisoners of Love

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When does empathy turn into identification? When do personal lives and professional interests merge in ethnographic fieldwork? This chapter notes the author's special relation with the Palestinian people, provoking doubts about his own identity, which become inextricably intertwined with his research questions. His research on the intifada in the West Bank leads him to a self-reflective exegesis, so well captured in the double entendre prisoners of love, of Jean Genet's musings on his years with the Palestinians in the early 1970s. The author finds himself progressively wandering away from a violent, conflict-ridden Middle East and into the homes of dispossessed Palestinians with their laughter and generosity.

Keywords: Jean Genet; West Bank; ethnographic fieldwork; Palestine

Chapter.  7052 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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