Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology
By (author) Clifford Geertz
Local Knowledge by Clifford Geertz
Book DescriptionIn essays covering everything from art and common sense to charisma and constructions of the self, the eminent cultural anthropologist and author of The Interpretation of Cultures deepens our understanding of human societies through the intimacies of "local knowledge." A companion volume to The Interpretation of Cultures, this book continues Geertz's exploration of the meaning of culture and the importance of shared cultural symbolism. With a new introduction by the author.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780465041626
(204mm x 127mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 18-Feb-1985
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Clifford Geertz
Schools of Thought, Paperback (October 2001)
Assesses the intellectual revolution in the social sciences. This collection of 20 essays stems from a 1997 conference that celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Institute for Advanced Study's School of Social Science. It is suitable for those interested in how changing trends in scholarship shape the understanding of our social worlds.
Available Light, Paperback (July 2001)
Offers insightful discussions of concepts such as nation, identity, country, and self, with a reminder that like symbols in general, their meanings are not categorically fixed but grow and change through time and place. This book treats the reader to an analysis of the American intellectual climate by someone who did much to shape it.
After the Fact, Paperback (September 1996)» View all books by Clifford Geertz
In looking back on four decades of anthropology in the field, Geertz creates a personal history that is also a retrospective reflection on developments in the human sciences amid political, social, and cultural changes in the world.
US Kirkus Review » Prof. Geertz (Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton) regards the anthropologist as one who uncovers layers of meaning in one culture and translates them into the terms of another culture - in the mode of his classic analysis of a Balinese cockfight, in The Interpretation of Cultures. Here, less convincingly, he is exploring theories and the tension between various forms of "local knowledge" (art, common sense, custom) and "generalized knowledge." What emerges is a glass bead game of intellectual fashions (semiotics, hermeneutics) and chronic namedropping - as when Geertz writes of social scientists, disenchantment with scientific methods and metaphors: "The penetration of the social sciences by the views of such philosophers as Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Gadamer, or Ricoeur, such critics as Burke, Frye, Jameson, or Fish, and such all-purpose subversives as Foucault, Habermas, Barthes, or Kuhn makes any simple return to a technological conception of those sciences highly improbable." It is also improbable that anyone but the players will know what is going on. Geertz delights to think, for example, that what he and Lionel Trilling do is essentially the same thing. Literary criticism and interpretive anthropology are "not just cognate activities. They are the same activity differently pursued." This leads to "meta-commentary" ("what Trilling thinks about what Geertz thinks about what the Balinese think, and what Geertz thinks about that") - though there is more worry about under-interpretation than overinterpretation. If all this talk led to dramatic new insights in the empirical essays (the one, for instance, on charisma in Tudor England, Hindu Java, and Muslim Morocco), we would eagerly follow the new path out of the theoretical maze. But it leads simply to more talk. In the lengthy essay on "Fact and Law in Comparative Perspective," Geertz reminds his Yale Law School audience that "Law may not be a brooding omnipresence in the sky. . . but it is not, as the down-home rhetoric of legal realism would have it, a collection of ingenious devices to avoid disputes. . . . An Anschauung in the marketplace would be more like it." After highflying mecta-commentaries and Anschauungs, the final recommendation is a down-to-earth, peace-making plea. "If there is any message. . . . It is that the world is a various place. . . and much is to be gained, scientifically and otherwise, by confronting the grand actuality rather than wishing it away in a haze of forceless generalities and false comforts." Did most anthropologists ever believe otherwise? Does the anthropologist really have a new set of clothes? Given Geertz's eminence, some may think so. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Clifford Geertz
Clifford Geertz, the author of many books, is Harold F. Linder Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey.
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