Archive for July 2011

The thick and thin of it

Clifford Geertz, the cultural anthropologist who influenced the practice of symbolic anthropology, wrote “analysis, then, is sorting out the structures of signification…and determining their social ground and import.” (Geertz, 1973, p. 9) Geertz was concerned that anthropological research was more interpretive than anthropologists admitted. To paraphrase, they were explicating other’s explications of explications. What Geertz was saying is that anthropological writing is fiction in the sense that they are made and fashioned but they are not false.

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