My discussion traces the early career of Raphael Patai (1910-1996) as it began in Palestine in the 1930s and developed in the United States in the 1940s and early 1950s. Patai's career demonstrates the complex power relations involved in both national and international academic interactions. In light of the marginalization of folklore studies in Palestine, Patai's experiences as a folklorist there can be conceptualized as a "habitus of rejection." Given these circumstances, Patai tried to establish himself internationally, hoping that international recognition would strengthen his scholarly position in Palestine. As he internationalized his approach, he changed his ethnological perspective-turning to American anthropology rather than to comparative folkloristics.