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Blog: Islam, Muslims, and an Anthropologist

27 January, 2009

It’s always great to see anthropologists engaging in contemporary debates and attempting to give their perspectives some sort of public dimension.  Although, as Pal mentioned in a recent post, this is not all that easy in Australia, there are some out there trying.  One example I came across recently is a blog written by Italian-born anthropologist Gabriele Marranci, who is currently Associate Professor in the Anthropology of Islam at the University of Western Sydney National University of Singapore.  Called “Islam, Muslims, and an Anthropologist”, the blog takes a broad focus on Islamic issues, from writing about recent fatwas in Malaysia trying to ban Muslims from practising yoga,  to recent posts on the Israeli bombing and invasion of Gaza (here and here — warning, the posts contains some graphic images).

The blog is a good example of engaged anthropology.  More than just being another social commentary, Marranci tries to define what’s anthropological about his approach.  For one thing, he cites Franz Boas and Margaret Mead as examples of anthropologists who social engagement as one of their key roles and duties.  Secondly, he links the concept of the blog to anthropological methodology, stating:

Being an anthropologist, my methodology is to conduct fieldwork through participant observation. For this reason, the title of this Blog is Islam, Muslims and an Anthropologist. As an anthropologist, I become part of the community I am studying, and am offered the opportunity to observe and understand things from everyday life and as an ‘insider’, instead of from the mass media or libraries.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 28 January, 2009 12:33 am

    Just to let you know, Gabriele is currently at the National University of Singapore; he’s supposed to move on to Australia perhaps later this year.

  2. 28 January, 2009 11:46 am

    Thanks JD. I’ll update the post.

  3. shaidatul akmar awang permalink
    3 June, 2009 2:17 pm



    Kepada sesiapa yang berminat untuk menyertai pertandingan yang dianjurkan oleh JABATAN KEMAJUAN ISLAM MALAYSIA (JAKIM) iaitu ANUGERAH MEDIA ISLAM NEGARA (AMIN) KE-20 bagi kategori LAMAN WEB BERUNSURKAN KEISLAMAN, boleh mendapatkan borang tersebut di: . Sebarang pertanyaan bolehlah menghubungi Ustazah Nik Suhaila Nik Mohammad (Bahagian Penerbitan) di talian 03-88864452. Penyertaan daripada anda diharapkan dapat memeriahkan lagi media Islam negara. Sekian, terima kasih.

  4. 12 September, 2009 12:54 am

    Interesting post. I’m glad you actually wrote something nice about us muslims… …I’ve been around the net for a pretty long time now, and the only thing I can read about muslims is bad things… getting pretty annoyed! I’ve also started to write a bit about Ramadan. I started out my own Ramadan blog over here: Oh, and whatever you do – don’t you dare stop blogging. You’re insane when it comes to writing!

  5. 3 January, 2010 9:11 pm

    To see a blog islam please visit my blog.

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