Formerly TBS Journal

ISSN: 1687-7721

Television and the Ethnographic Endeavor: The Case of Syrian DramaIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

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Herzfeld, Michael.  1997.  Cultural Intimacy: Social Poetics in the Nation-State.  New York: Routledge.

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Mankekar, Purnima. 1999. Screening Culture, Viewing Politics:  An Ethnography of Television, Womanhood, and National Postcolonial India.  Durham: Duke University Press.

Peterson, Mark Allen.  2003.  Anthropology and Mass Communications: Media and the Myth of the New Millennium.  Oxford: Berghahn.

Salamandra, Christa. 1998.  "Moustache Hairs Lost: Ramadan Television Serials and the Construction of Identity in Damascus, Syria", Visual Anthropology, Vol. 10(2-4).  Reprinted in Toby Miller, ed., Television, Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies, Routledge, 2003.

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[1] In Lebanon, with a population of approximately four million, leading authors rarely sell more that 200-300 copies of their books (Wilson-Goldie 2004).

[2] In the epilogue to her detailed study of Indian television, Mankekar makes a similar point regarding the proliferation of both production and access (1999).

[3] Abu-Lughod promotes television production as a worthy object of ethnographic inquiry, but supplements her fieldwork among producers with the voices of more conventional subjects—working-class women (2005).

[4] Peterson points to the value of treating media producers as consumers (2003).

[5] Clifford argues that multi-sites fieldwork is oxymoronic, and notes that Marcus himself uses the term “ethnography” rather than “fieldwork” in his call for multiple localities, and thus evades issues of depth (1997, 190, 219).

[6] Marcus sees a shift from rapport to alliance in the forging of fieldwork relationships (1997, 214-215).  In fieldwork in the Syrian television industry, these questions are inseparable—mutual assistance necessarily occurs within a context of affinities and articulated differences.

[7] I am grateful to Walter Armbrust for suggesting this formulation.

[8] This can be compared to the current nostalgia for the Nasserist project among Egyptian intellectuals.