Reflections on Fieldworks in Morocco

I had the prior idea that the book “Reflections on Fieldworks in Morocco” could have been a book of guidance in fieldwork or that of a fieldwork manual. I had that such first impression on the book. I had though a conceptual analysis that Rabinow had some idea that not all works gives a fulfillment of completion. Formalistic analysis, on behalf, I must say that the book was written elegantly, that is by pure analysis of the wordings, technical aspects of the book. “Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco” in sense is a landmark study. The author, Paul Rabinow, takes points more on the part of experiences in the fieldwork.

As I view he has focused on the field experiences of the anthropologists in doing fieldworks. To clear, as I have understood, this book is totally not about the Morocco as Morocco itself. I have to mean that as; the book literally does not study the Moroccan humanistic views and other holistic concerns on the study of anthropology. Rabinow took the part more on emphasizing the experiences of an ethnographer in a community, it happened to be the Moroccan community in this case. I would have to say that the author intended to address that anthropology has uncomfortable aspects.

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I came to the point of highlighting the actual finding of the author’s study in Morocco, and I was unable to catch even one, but I suppose there could have been any. It might be that the fieldwork failed, or the personal intention of the author is not to display his actual findings for whatever reason and purpose ha has. The essence of respect then comes in place, we should for whatever reason there is, respect Rabinow’s intention. And must we believe that he wanted us to learn from this book, more so of just giving the graphs, tables and results of his study.

The author talked on the validity of the research process. There were arguments on the degree on how one cultural data could be considered a strong picture of the once interaction between the anthropologist and the informants. He also had to describe some of his experiences in very poetic way. In some sense I came to think what could have been Rabinow’s intention for such. What must be the reason for this? I then came to realize that this might be a strategy to arouse the interest of readers since it written elegantly.

If there is any holistic aspect of anthropology that I could remember now and on by reading this book, that would be my gain of knowledge on what a fieldwork really is. I would have to express that my personal conviction about this book would have to include the author’s reflection on fieldwork as a practice, more importantly is the author’s encouragement for some who might pursue on anthropology. The best idea would have to be, “fieldwork could be just like hanging out somewhere”. Rabinow in his book tackled the great value of presence in the field. He pointed this point as “being there”.

This would have to mean that Rabinow took the idea of common field of experience as Theorist of Language exploit. They argued that in a communication process, the value of “being there” generates a common field of experience, and this in turn could build great result in the study of anthropology. Much have been said that a message is at its clearest when different parties shared a common experience, that is by the Theorist of Language, and I think this could have been adapted by the author but refused to detail and go direct to it, instead he preferred to go to a fuzzy idea.

Above are the conceptual analyses, my own analysis on the messages being conveyed. It is a serious picture of the ever changing field of the anthropology and its elements. It is meant to be read by those who will pursue this field, and more importantly is that, it could be a great help to prepare one for whatever would come into their way on the “field” not only to anthropology but also others. As a recapitulation on anthropological relevance of the book, I had some notes of the theories in anthropology that was in some ways tackled by Rabinow.

It would have to include Hermeneutical that was based on Semiology. On this sense, he looked on the anthropology as interpretative. He could have furthered that anthropology is a Humanities discipline that in some sense could separate and bound anthropology with social science. On my own perception, he also tackled Phenomenology: that is in the realms of Philosophical Anthropology. This was due to the fact that Rabinow started in France then flew to Morocco, a former colony.

He utilized this by arguing that, it was not about the cause of an event, but what is next after such social event, this could be merely a phenomenon of high value. He furthered that consequences could arise and so in order not commit any, there must be careful attention. This would prevent one from the demand of explanation with reference to some other external idea but rather to clear or explicate it with respect to other such ideas and behaviors internal to the particular cultural system of interest. I could not afford to make my judgment that Rabinow might have reflected what fieldwork is from a male point of view.

Our knowledge has already been established that Rabinow is of interest with the religious sects of Islam in Morocco as well as the family descent of the families in relation to saints of Islamic belief. It is clear that much of the attention was given to the men, as none of the descriptions are being related to women or children and of what role did these members of the society play in the whole system of religion in Morocco. Above all, Reflection on Fieldwork in Morocco is a must read book for it has displayed the ugliness and beauty of anthropology, such interesting.