Through a series of life history interviews with my Grandmother in her Ft. Lauderdale apartment, I reflect on the underappreciated advantages of fostering intimate interpersonal relationships in ethnographic practice. Relating examples from my grandmother’s description of her experiences in Nazi Germany, I argue that intimacy can in many cases serve as a powerful tool to make research more rigorous by helping to forestall temptations to overgeneralize interview data to confirm preconceived expectations, while also promoting deeper insights into the diversity and subtly of individual conceptions of self. I connect this argument to larger debates regarding the advantages and disadvantages of insider and outsider ethnographic practice.
"“Last Night all the Synagogues in Germany were Burned”: Intimacy and Ethnographic Practice in a Familial Life History,"
Journal of Contemporary Anthropology:
1, Article 5.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jca/vol4/iss1/5