Anthropological Fieldwork in Afghanistan and Pakistan Compared

  • Magnus Marsden
Part of the Muslims in Global Societies Series book series (MGSS, volume 6)


Marsden’s chapter also explores the complexity of studying everyday Islam in the equally heterogeneous religious and political context of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. He describes two modalities, however, of his attempts to deal with this heterogeneity during fieldwork. These modalities built upon him learning from his own informants’ attitudes. In Chitral, northern Pakistan, where he conducted work in a village and small town home to Sunni and Shi’a Ismai’li Muslims, his informants did not let him participate in many forms of religious life. During research in northern Afghanistan, however, Marsden describes the process of being taught by his informants the art of balancing competing dimensions of life and holding any display of complete loyalty or commitment in suspended tension.


Ethnographic Fieldwork Islamic Teaching Muslim Society Islamic Tradition Muslim Identity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and Sociology, SOASUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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