Clifford Geertz Quotes

Enjoy the top 56 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Clifford Geertz.

Clifford Geertz Quotes

Im an inveterate fox and not a hedgehog, so I always think you should try everything.
— Clifford Geertz —

Clifford Geertz Quotes: Man is an animal suspended in webs of
Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun.

— Clifford Geertz

There is an Indian story
at least I heard it as an Indian story
about an Englishman who, having been told that the world rested on a platform which rested on the back of an elephant which rested in turn on the back of a turtle, asked (perhaps he was an ethnographer; it is the way they behave), what did the turtle rest on? Another turtle. And that turtle? 'Ah, Sahib, after that it is turtles all the way down

— Clifford Geertz

One of the most significant facts about humanity may finally be that we all begin with the natural equipment to a live a thousand kinds of life but end in the end having lived only one

— Clifford Geertz

Clifford Geertz Quotes: A religion is a system of symbols which
A religion is a system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing those conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.

— Clifford Geertz

It may be in the cultural particularities of people - in their oddities - that some of the most instructive revelations of what it is to be generically human are to be found.

— Clifford Geertz

What we call our data are really our own constructions of other people's constructions of what they and their compatriots are up to.

— Clifford Geertz

Understanding a people's culture exposes their normalness without reducing their particularity ... It renders them accessible: setting them in the frame of their own banalities, it dissolves their opacity.

— Clifford Geertz

Clifford Geertz Quotes: If we wanted home truths we should have
If we wanted home truths, we should have stayed at home.

— Clifford Geertz

The notion that someone who does not hold your views holds the reciprocal of them, or simply hasn't got any, has, whatever its comforts for those afraid reality is going to go away unless we believe very hard in it, not conduced to much in the way of clarity in the anti-relativist discussion, but merely to far too many people spending far too much time describing at length what it is they do not maintain than seems in any way profitable.

— Clifford Geertz

What the ethnographer is in fact faced with-except when (as, of course, he must do) he is pursuing the more automatized routines of data collection-is a multiplicity of complex conceptual structures, many of them superimposed upon or knotted into one another, which are at once strange, irregular, and inexplicit, and which he must contrive somehow first to grasp and then to render. And this is true at the most down-to-earth, jungle field work levels of his activity; interviewing informants, observing rituals, eliciting kin terms, tracing property lines, censusing households ... writing his journal. Doing ethnography is like trying to read (in the sense of "construct a reading of") a manuscript-foreign, faded, full of ellipses, incoherencies, suspicious emendations, and tendentious commentaries, but written not in conventionalized graphs of sound but in transient examples of shaped behavior.

— Clifford Geertz

What we had actually demonstrated was our cowardice, but there is fellowship in that too.

— Clifford Geertz

Younger anthropologists have the notion that anthropology is too diverse. The number of things done under the name of anthropology is just infinite; you can do anything and call it anthropology.

— Clifford Geertz

I'm an inveterate fox and not a hedgehog, so I always think you should try everything.

— Clifford Geertz

Clifford Geertz Quotes: Meaning is socially historically and
Meaning is socially, historically, and rhetorically constructed.

— Clifford Geertz

My instincts are always against people who want to fasten some sort of hegemony onto things.

— Clifford Geertz

It's always amusing to look at how something early in the 20th century was written in anthropology and how it's written now. There's been an enormous shift in how it's done, but yet you can't put your finger on someone who actually did it.

— Clifford Geertz

Has feminism made us all more conscious? I think it has. Feminist critiques of anthropological masculine bias have been quite important, and they have increased my sensitivity to that kind of issue.

— Clifford Geertz

I think of myself as a writer who happens to be doing his writing as an anthropologist.

— Clifford Geertz

I've often been accused of making anthropology into literature, but anthropology is also field research. Writing is central to it.

— Clifford Geertz

I think the perception of there being a deep gulf between science and the humanities is false.

— Clifford Geertz

Anthropology never has had a distinct subject matter, and because it doesn't have a real method, there's a great deal of anxiety over what it is.

— Clifford Geertz

Clifford Geertz Quotes: People keep asking how anthropology is
People keep asking how anthropology is different from sociology, and everybody gets nervous.

— Clifford Geertz

I don't feel that an atmosphere of debate and total disagreement and argument is such a bad thing. It makes for a vital and alive field.

— Clifford Geertz

Clifford Geertz Quotes: We need to think more about the nature
We need to think more about the nature of rhetoric in anthropology. There isn't a body of knowledge and thought to fall back on in this regard.

— Clifford Geertz

Anthropology in general has always been fairly hospitable to female scholars, and even to feminist scholars.

— Clifford Geertz

The North African mule talks always of his mother's brother, the horse, but never of his father, the donkey, in favor of others supposedly more reputable.

— Clifford Geertz

If I remember correctly, a writer is someone who wants to convey information. Language or writing is a code.

— Clifford Geertz

Clifford Geertz Quotes: I had a hard time convincing students
I had a hard time convincing students that they were going to North Africa to understand the North Africans, not to understand themselves.

— Clifford Geertz

We're getting closer to our nature.

— Clifford Geertz

Most anthropologists are doing straightforward ethnography, and should.

— Clifford Geertz

I agree with Chomsky in almost nothing. When it comes to innate structures and so on, I'm very skeptical.

— Clifford Geertz

Gender consciousness has become involved in almost every intellectual field: history, literature, science, anthropology. There's been an extraordinary advance.

— Clifford Geertz

Two people have been really liberating in my mind; one is Wittgenstein and the other is Burke. I read Burke before he was a secular saint, before everyone was reading him.

— Clifford Geertz

I think feminism has had a major impact on anthropology.

— Clifford Geertz

I don't think things are moving toward an omega point; I think they're moving toward more diversity.

— Clifford Geertz

I do think the attempt to raise consciousness has succeeded. People are very aware of gender concerns now.

— Clifford Geertz

Clifford Geertz Quotes: I never leave a sentence or a paragraph
I never leave a sentence or a paragraph until I'm satisfied with it.

— Clifford Geertz

I think what's known about neurology is still scattered and uncertain.

— Clifford Geertz

I don't have the notion that everybody has to write in some single academic style.

— Clifford Geertz

I think the American university system still seems to be the best system in the world.

— Clifford Geertz

I've written a lot of books which are written from the moon - the view from nowhere.

— Clifford Geertz

I'm writing a review of three books on feminism and science, and it's about social constructionism. So I would say I'm a social constructionist, whatever that means.

— Clifford Geertz

Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning.

— Clifford Geertz

Culture is public, because meaning is

— Clifford Geertz

We don't know what we think until we see what we say.

— Clifford Geertz

Clifford Geertz Quotes: As a religious problem the problem of
As a religious problem, the problem of suffering is, paradoxically, not how to avoid suffering but how to suffer, how to make of physical pain, personal loss, worldly defeat, or the helpless contemplation of others' agony something bearable, supportable- something as we say, sufferable.

— Clifford Geertz

Learning to exist in a world quite different from that which formed you is the condition, these days, of pursuing research you can on balance believe in and write sentences you can more or less live with.

— Clifford Geertz

To see ourselves as others see us can be eye-opening. To see others as sharing a nature with ourselves is the merest decency. But it is from the far more difficult achievement of seeing ourselves amongst others, as a local example of the forms human life has locally taken, a case among cases, a world among worlds, that the largeness of mind, without which objectivity is self-congratulation and tolerance a sham, comes.

— Clifford Geertz

A scholar can hardly be better employed than in destroying a fear.

— Clifford Geertz

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