Different Culture in Guest of the Sheik by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

Decent Essays

There are many countries in the world and every country is unique and individualistic with many exclusive qualities. Everyone in the world has a culture but it is not easy to accept or agree with other people’s culture. The ethnography, “Guests of the Sheik”, written by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea really captures what it is like to live and to be immersed into another culture. Ethnography is “comprised of the writings of the anthropologist, detailing the life ways of a particular culture, investigated by means of direct fieldwork” (Arenson, and Miller-Thayer 1). Elizabeth Fernea lived in a small village of El Nahra in southern Iraq for two years to gather data for her anthropologist husband Bob. In the beginning, she had limited knowledge of Iraq, its religion or culture, but as she started connecting with the women of the society, she came to learn both about this foreign country and about herself. Acculturation is “the process of acceptance resulting for the contact between two cultures, or an individual interacting in at least two cultures” (517). As she builds relationships with the woman’s, she is acculturated. As Elizabeth Fernea first arrived at Diwaniya station, she was the only woman without an abayah. She said, “I began to be self-conscious. This is ridiculous, I told myself. Why should I have to war that ugly thing-it’s not my custom; the arguments with Bob about the abayah returned in a rush” (Fernea 5). This shows that she could not accept wearing something that

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