Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Europäische Ethnologie


  • Wann 25.04.2017 von 18:00 bis 20:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)
  • Wo Raum 311
  • Termin zum Kalender hinzufügen iCal
Projective Identification in Syrian-German Interactions: Erotic Conflict, Intersubjectivity, and the Thresholds of Integration


John Borneman (Princeton University)

Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi (Rutgers University)


The critique of fieldwork in the 1980s resulted in many creative experiments but few innovations in method. If anything, fieldwork today is in many ways less rigorous than it was in the prewar period, and little has been done to specify the conditions that might improve “thick description” (Clifford Geertz) in ethnographic writing that is to follow from participant observation. While “dialogue,” “collaboration,” “performance,” and “participant action research” have served as new ethical and political orientations, there is a tendency to dwell on “context” and “history” rather than on what is learned in the experience of fieldwork itself. Our fieldwork on Syrian refugees in Germany focuses on the process of “projective identification” in interactions between refugees, Germans, and ourselves to understand the conditions in which projections are modified. In what way is erotic conflict a threshold of integration? How does the personal and intimate challenge people’s unconscious erotic expectations in emotional exchanges? How are such tensions brought into speech?