Meaning vs. Power: Are Thick Description and Power Analysis intrinsically at odds? Response to Interpretation, Explanation, and Clifford Geertz

Religion Compass 6 (12):534-542 (2012)

Jason Springs
University of Notre Dame
This essay clarifies and defends the methodological multidimensionality and improvisational character of Clifford Geertz’s account of interpretation and explanation. In contrast to accounts of power analysis offered by Michel Foucault and Talal Asad, I argue that Geertz’s work can simultaneously attend to meaning, power, identity, and experience in understanding and assessing religious practices and cultural formations.
Keywords Clifford Geertz  Michel Foucault  Power analysis  critique  thick description  Talal Asad  religion  culture  meaning
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
231 ( #24,134 of 2,317,996 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
141 ( #2,540 of 2,317,996 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature