Association of Senior Anthropologists
Invited - Oral Presentation Session
Only a minority among our colleagues have the opportunity to revisit their earlier fieldwork sites, review their initial observations and research conclusions. This paper presents the researcher’s experience witnessing the dramatic social transformations that have taken place within the span of 20-30 years, as consequence of changing cultural, economic and political circumstances, in three fieldwork sites, the subjects of his ethnographic monographs: Moroccan Jewish immigrants in an Israeli farming community; Israeli emigrants in the Borough of Queens; the gay and lesbian synagogue in New York City. These processes of change, unconceivable “in real time,” but inevitable aftermaths of most ethnographic projects, present a reality that anthropologists rarely consider in their work and teaching. Expanding ethnographic perspective involves a deeper engagement of students preparing for fieldwork assignments with records attesting the mutability of ethnographic observations and conclusions.