21 November, 2005

Going "Native"

Hey Vergueishon,

I cant recall the exact name either--besides which, being anthropological in nature the concept probably has several names as us anthro people loving nothing more than inventing new words or heuristic tools to tickle the senses and delight our fancies--but I remember learning it as the "Problem of the Native Anthropologist", the idea being, as you mentioned, that just cause you come from that culture doesnt mean you can analyze or understand it any better than the next person (in fact, there is something to be said for being an outside observer).

As for sex in Islam....have you read that book that you gave me, "Islamic Homosexualities". Definitely check it out. But yer right...in fact, Islamic notions of homosexuality or homoeroticism between men are much closer, and indeed similar, to ancient Greek notions. To be the penetrator is to be in the dominant, "male" position while to be the penetratee is to be in the submissive, "female" position. Thus only young boys, who are not yet men, are allowed to serve the latter role--if they continue to act in this role well into their twenties (and after growing a beard), that is if they dont make that transition from a female to male role in the penetration act, then they are in serious trouble. Hence why those two young Iranian boys were hung, given that they were close in age and assumed to be in a homosexual, as opposed to a traditional and accepted pederasitc, relationship.

In other news, the transformation of Ariel Sharon from far-right defender of settler rights to centrist "man of peace" (I guess, for lack of a better phrase) continues....he's split from Likud party, which should spell something interesting for Israeli, and therefore Palestinian, politics. We'll see what happens....


1 comment:

vergueishon said...

Why create a new post when you were mostly replying to my last post? Anyway, just wanted to add that "Going native" is a bit different from "Native Anthropology", which, I believe, *is* the term that I was looking for. To correct my previous definition, Native Anthropology should only concern those who were "born" into a culture (ie, someone who grew up in a particular culture, though many migrants and their children today turn this category on its head) as opposed to those who choose to "join" a culture (ie, "Going native").