In this collection of essays, CliffordGeertz explores the nature of his anthropological work in relation to a broader public, serving as the foremost spokesperson of his generation of scholars, those who came of age after World War II. ...
The paper is one of the four central texts where CliffordGeertz summarized his ideas. Geertz suggests an understanding of art as a social phenomenon and gives a social anthropological account of aesthetic experience. In opposition to structuralism, which analyzes art as a closed sign system developing according to its inherent logic, and to radical functionalism, which attempts to study art as if its main function was to maintain established institutions of culture, Geertz proposes to view (...) a work of art as a symbolical expression of the significant experience of its creator. In this case the ability of aesthetic perception of the work of art is treated as the ability to recognize the symbols it contains — the ability that results from involvement in the relevant cultural practices. Author illustrates his argument by the examples from the studies of that time: studies of Abelam tribe of New Guinea, Yoruba people of Western Africa, Quattrocento Italia, and modern Morocco. (shrink)
The Anthropology of Sport and Human Movement represents a collection of work that reveals and explores the often times dramatic relationship of our biology and culture that is inextricably woven into a tapestry of movement patterns. It explores the underpinning of human movement, reflected in play, sport, games and human culture from an evolutionary perspective and contemporary expression of sport and human movement.
L’attuale riabilitazione dell’etnocentrismo, benchè si tratti di un etnocentrismo rilassato e condiscendente, affonda le sue radici in una concezione monadologica della pluralità delle culture che trascura il fatto che, nella realtà contemporanea, il confronto con l’altrui diversità può contribuire innanzitutto a una migliore comprensione di noi stessi. In un simile contesto l’immaginazione etnografica rappresenta senza dubbio un antidoto al narcisismo morale in quanto ci offre gli strumenti migliori per perlustrare quello spazio intermedio che sta tra noi e quegli ‘altri’ che (...) nelle società contemporanee sono sempre più spesso al nostro fianco. Principalmente in ciò consistono ‘gli usi della diversità’ : nel rafforzare la nostra capacità di immaginare la differenza.Today’s rehabilitation of ethnocentrism, though a ‘relax-and-enjoy-it’ one, is rooted in a ‘monadologic’ conception of cultural plurality which overlooks the fact that, in the contemporary predicament, to be confronted with the other’s diversity may primarily mean a better understanding of ourselves. In such a context, the ethnographic imagination is undoubtedly an antidote to the moral narcissism, in so far as it allows us to explore the space that lies between us and those ‘others’ who, in our societies are for the most part among us. This is what ‘uses of diversity’ primarily means: empowering our ability to imagine difference. (shrink)
This paper will defend scientific study of the social by scrutinizing CliffordGeertz's interpretive anthropology, and evolutionary psychologists' criticism of it. I shall critically examine Geertz's identification of anthropology with literary criticism, his assumption that a science of society is possible only on a positivist model, his view of the relation between culture and mind, and his anti anti-relativism. Then I shall discuss evolutionary psychologists' criticism of Geertz's view as an exemplar of the so-called "Standard Social (...) Science Model." Finally, I shall claim that both Geertz and evolutionary psychologists misunderstand the aim of the social sciences, which is to explain the unintended consequences of human actions in institutional contexts. Key Words: CliffordGeertz evolutionary psychology interpretive anthropology positivism Standard Social Science Model (SSSM). (shrink)
This article examines literature from cultural anthropology for insights into ethics. It particularly addresses the moral issue of justly understanding those people different from oneself. CliffordGeertz, pragmatist as well as anthropologist, draws upon the rhetorical theory of Kenneth Burke in his 1988 book Works and Lives. Just this sort of cross-disciplinary borrowing offers resources for understanding what were once religiously-based ethics in a humanistic context. The rhetorical style of various cultural anthropologists serves to inform the rhetorical forms (...) of appeal of theistic and non- theistic ethics. (shrink)
This article, written by a Russian cultural historian, analyzes the concept of "ideology" in the work of CliffordGeertz. and his role in understanding the figurative nature of ideology as a cultural system. The author compares Geertz's semiotic approach to culture with thesemiotics of culture developed by Russian theorists, particularly Yuri Lotman, showing the convergence and divergence of the two differentnational traditions. This understanding of the nature and functions of ideology opens new possibilities for discussing the tortured (...) relations of ideology and literature, showing the way fiction can affect the formation of ideological systems and influence practical politics. The analysis is illustrated by examples from Russian political life of the 1990s, when revolutionary changes demanded new sets of ideological metaphors that in their turn shaped the direction of events. (shrink)