Ambivalent Belonging in the Fields of Home


  • Shana L. Sippy Centre College



diaspora, Hinduism, identities, gender, authority, authenticity, fieldwork, ethnography, ethics


Through telling the interconnected stories of three women (the author, her grandmother, and her interlocutor, a leader in a temple community), this article explores the complicated dynamics that can occur when one’s field is both one’s home and not one’s home. Specifically, it explores the ways in which being an American scholar of Indian descent who studies the Hindu diaspora can shed light on the gendered  dynamics of belonging, authority, autonomy and authenticity in the field and at home. Ultimately, the article suggests that a scholarly approach of ambivalent belonging that eschews the normative boundaries between home and field, the personal and the scholarly, provides an ethical framework for research and writing.


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Author Biography

Shana L. Sippy, Centre College

Shana Sippy is Assistant Professor of Religion at Centre College, Kentucky, and is Co-Director of the Religious Diversity in Minnesota Initiative and Research Associate in the Religion Department at Carleton College. She received her PhD from Columbia University and she is currently completing a book, Diasporic Desires: Making Hindus and the Cultivation of Longing in the US and Beyond, exploring how Hindus in diaspora theorize and cultivate desires in creating Hindu subjectivities for themselves and their children.


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How to Cite

Sippy, S. L. . (2020). Ambivalent Belonging in the Fields of Home. Fieldwork in Religion, 15(1-2), 81–97.