I feel the need to explain to you all why my blog posts are not as visually appealing as Neil’s. Basically, it comes down to this: his research can be photographed without fear of confidentiality loss, and mine cannot. In other words, trees aren’t covered by university Institutional Review Boards…*
But people are. And it occurs to me that I haven’t told you all about my people [aka my research participants], so maybe now’s the time. My research project is essentially an attempt to figure out what happens, down the road, to participants in two different organizations bringing Jewish and Arab/Palestinian citizens of Israel together. So I’m interviewing lots and lots of people – alumni of both organizations as well as current and past staff/board members [in order to figure out how the programs themselves have changed over the past few decades]. Both organizations have been around since the 1980s, meaning that there are lots of alumni at various life stages.
…and as a result, even though I’m less than two months into my research, I’ve had interviews with people in a variety of places, too. My interview locales have ranged from coffee shops to offices to living rooms; from the suburbs of Tel Aviv to a kibbutz to an Arab village, with lots of time in Haifa and Yaffo. I anticipate that the range of places and spaces will only expand as this year continues. I have to say I am finding my fieldwork even more interesting than I anticipated, although of course not without its frustrations, too.
In any case, I thought you’d like to know what I am actually [supposed to be] doing here and why it doesn’t include awesome photographs. I’ll leave those for Neil, although now that he’s headed back to the USA it might be a while…
*sadly this is going to make giving aesthetically-pleasing conference presentations, especially presentations meeting Neil’s standards, somewhat difficult.