"It is futile to trust in man': methodological difficulties in studying non-mainstream populations with reference to Ethiopian Jews in Israel

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Abstract

There is an extensive literature on Ethiopian Jews, but it contains remarkably few references to methodological problems in studying this population. This article explores the nature of the encounter between the researcher and Ethiopian Jews in their new setting in Israel. The intentional use of ambiguities in Ethiopian communication may produce an extreme situation in which the collection of data Westerners consider "basic' may be impeded. Can the "outsider' collect valid information at all, or is "insider' research, employing the native as research assistant or translator, more effective? Finally, the article discusses the appropriate methodology for research, and argues that a holistic approach combining innovative theoretical and practical approaches should be pursued in order to reflect effectively the negotiated reality between the researcher and "the Other'. -Author

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Organization
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995

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