Study Questions

Jeanne Simonelli’s questions to consider while reading
Crossing Between Worlds

The Ethnographic Experience

  1. How and why did this research/experience take place?
  2. How has the process ethnographic research changed in the last two decades?
  3. How is this reflected in the new sections in the second edition?
  4. For anthropology students, how does this relate to the ethics, practice and theory of research?

Family and Kinship

  1. How do the Navajo view kinship, and how does it differ from mainstream definitions of family?
  2. How is this reflected in the relationships described in Crossing Between Worlds?
  3. What are some of the challenges facing the younger members of the family depicted here?
  4. What are some of the challenges facing the elder members of the family depicted here, as their children consider long term care?
  5. How might this relate to what you have learned about Navajo attitudes towards death and dying?

Ceremony and Belief

  1. What is unique about the way the Navajo view their relationship to the world around them?
  2. How do they explain their place in the universe and the Southwest?
  3. What is the relationship between religion and daily life, and religion and healing?
  4. In what ways and places does Navajo ceremonial life happen?
  5. How does this connect to health and healing?

Daily Life

  1. What are Navajo subsistence strategies?
  2. How do people live day to day?
  3. Has this changed, and if so, how?
  4. How does this relate to the notion of maintaining harmony and balance?

Links to Southwest

Navajo Culture

For More Information on the Diné (Navajo) People:

Department of Anthropology
1834 Wake Forest Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27106
Email all inquiries to Rosemary McCarthy