Chapter

Coming Home

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/9780520089938.003.0009
Coming Home

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Charting the conflict between the violence that tears compatriots apart and the wistful memories of childhood, this chapter discusses the author's perturbed departure from California to the war-torn republic of Croatia. It describes a departure for the field that is at the same time a coming home. The author returns after an absence of two decades to a motherland that no longer corresponds to her childhood memories. The irony of her mother buying her a gas mask epitomizes the ambiguity of returning to a homeland that cannot offer her any security. Her chapter is more than a description of her life in Zagreb. Filtering through her lines is a continuing despair at the violence in the Balkans as she clutches her ethnographic skills to retain her balance.

Keywords: California; Croatia; childhood memory; Zagreb; ethnography

Chapter.  8745 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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