Barbara Myerhoff’s Ethnography Number Our Days

Focus on ways you may be changed by your encounters with ethnography: reading ethnography, writing it, and conducting fieldwork.

Read Barbara Myerhoff’s ethnography “Number Our Days: Culture and Community among Elderly Jews in an American Ghetto” (1978). Identify one detail from the excerpt that shows how Myerhoff was changed by the experience of ethnographic fieldwork with the Jewish senior citizens in California. Relate Myerhoff’s fieldwork to a context in your life. Identify a cultural misunderstanding that negatively impacts people you are familiar with. How could ethnography help reduce or shift this misunderstanding?