Interpreting Clifford Geertz Cultural Investigation in the Social Sciences

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-04-15
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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"Meaning is everywhere and everybody must interpret. Nobody argued this more persuasively than Clifford Geertz. From Balinese cock fights to sheep raids to theater states, Geertz showed that there is no escape from the sticky webs of meaning that capture our lives. But what exactly is Geertz saying, and should we still listen to him? After all, many argue that his ideas have run out of steam. This book confronts Geertz and his critics, offering surprising answers from various disciplines and identifying for the first time the contours of "the Geertz Effect.""--

Author Biography

Jeffrey C. Alexander is a Professor of Sociology at Yale University. Philip Smith is a Professor of Sociology at Yale University. Matthew Norton is a PhD candidate at Yale University.

Table of Contents

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Clifford Geertz--Jeffrey Alexander and Philip Smith * Part I: Geertz, Text, and Structure * Semiotics & Thick Description (Barthes & Geertz)--Peter Brooks * Balinese Cockfight Decoded: Reflections on Geertz and Structuralism--Philip Smith * On Not Doing Systems--Joseph Errington * Part II: Geertz, Interpretation, and Meaning * Geertzian Irony--Georgia Warnke * Clifford Geertz and the Strong Program:  The Human Sciences and Cultural Sociology--Jeffrey Alexander * Maximal Interpretation in Clifford Geertz and the Strong Program: Towards a New Epistemology--Isaac Reed * Thick Description as a Cosmopolitan Practice: A Pragmatic Reading--Paul Lichterman * 'Malarial and Diffident': The Vision of Clifford Geertz--Robin Wagner-Pacifici * Part III: Geertz and the Disciplines * Thick Description, Thin History: Did Historians Always Understand Clifford Geertz?--Stuart Clark * Scientific Cultures--Peter Galison * Geertz’s Legacy Beyond the Modes of Cultural Analysis of His Time:  Speculative Notes & Queries in Remembrance--George Marcus * “To locate in the tenor of their setting the sources of their spell’:  Clifford Geertz and the ‘Strong’ Program in Cultural Sociology--Mats Trondman * Ritual, Power, and Style: The Implications of Negara for the Sociology of Power--Bernhard Giesen * Part IV: Geertz, Life, and Work * Clifford Geertz as a Cultural System--David Apter * On Clifford Geertz: Field Notes from the Classroom--Robert Darnton * The Geertz Effect--Matthew Norton


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