Anthropological Methods and an Analysis of Memory: Migration, Past and Present in Raqqa Province, Syria
Author/s: Annika Rabo
Year: 2017 Vol: 2 Number: 1
This text is an attempt to use material in one Syrian region as an example that speaks to a more general problem both in Syria and elsewhere. I argue that anthropological methods offer entry points to start thinking about reconciliatory processes for future conviviality and co-existence in this province and elsewhere. Participant observation is central to the methods used by social anthropologists. Such observation typically entails intensive personal engagement and interaction with people – informants or interlocutors – in the often-unbounded setting dubbed the field. This engagement and interaction is not predetermined by a strict research design. Instead, we are trained to expect the unexpected. Ethnographic fieldwork thus allows for serendipity; that process by which we discover important things for which we were not even searching, or were unaware that we were even searching for them, to begin with.