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Myerhoff Doing Fieldwork

Myerhoff Doing Fieldwork

While Myerhoff first explored the concept of domestic religion in her work with the center elders, she continued to examine the idea throughout her career. The following quote is from her field notes after interviewing a Hasidic woman for the film In Her Own Time:

"[The woman interviewed] said, I don't know if I'm a good spokesman because I don't know too much, I just know how to do it, and she began to describe something that was so deeply embedded. She was describing a view of the sacred that I think maybe only the women really know. Where they're just raised on it, and they just do it and it's in their language, it's in their gestures, it's in the pre-verbal movements and feelings. That's a different kind of sacredness than what the men learn, or what anybody learns in the head....It's a domestic form of religion. And I think it never lets you go and that's what these women have."

1. Barbara Myerhoff, In Her Own Time field notes, Barbara Myerhoff Papers microfilm, U of Southern California, reel 6: 5.

Date / time
c. 1981

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Myerhoff Doing Fieldwork." (Viewed on February 12, 2016) <>.


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