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After the Fact: Two Countries, Four Decades, One by Clifford Geertz

By Clifford Geertz

"Suppose," Clifford Geertz indicates, "having entangled your self each infrequently over 4 many years or so within the goings-on in provincial cities, one a Southeast Asian bend within the street, one a North African outpost and passage aspect, you wanted to assert anything approximately how these goings-on had changed." a story provides itself, a journey of indices and tendencies, maybe a memoir? None, besides the fact that, will suffice, simply because in 40 years extra has replaced than these towns--the anthropologist, for example, anthropology itself, even the highbrow and ethical international during which the self-discipline exists. And so, in on reflection on 4 many years of anthropology within the box, Geertz has created a piece that's normally unclassifiable, a private heritage that also is a retrospective mirrored image on advancements within the human sciences amid political, social, and cultural alterations on the planet. a sublime summation of 1 of the main awesome careers in anthropology, it's whilst an eloquent assertion of the needs and chances of anthropology's interpretive powers.

To view his cities in time, Pare in Indonesia and Sefrou in Morocco, Geertz adopts a number of views on anthropological examine and research in the course of the post-colonial interval, the chilly struggle, and the emergence of the hot states of Asia and Africa. all through, he clarifies his personal place on a huge sequence of concerns straight away empirical, methodological, theoretical, and private. the result's a really unique e-book, person who screens a specific manner of training the human sciences and hence a particular--and quite efficacious--view of what those sciences are, were, and may turn into.

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Extra info for After the Fact: Two Countries, Four Decades, One Anthropologist (The Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures)

Sample text

And it took only a little while longer to realize that a conception of culture as a massive causal force shaping belief and behavior to an abstractable pattern-what has been called the cookie-cutter view-was not very useful either for investigating such matters or for conveying what one claimed to have come up with from having investigated them. Something a good deal less muscular is needed, something a good deal more reactive; quizzical, watchful, better attuned to hints, uncertainties, contingencies, and incompletions.

The languages as such support these disparate tendencies to notice some things about the world rather more than others and to make more fuss about them. (Javanese has no inflections for gender, but is grammatically stratified into minutely graded, hierarchical speech registers. ) But C U L T U RES • 47 that is too complex, and too technical, to go into here. What is important here, in this classroom demonstration of what cultural analysis is and isn't, and how one finds oneself almost reflexively doing it, is what sort of conclusions about Moroccan and Javanese ways of being in the world these contrasting experiences, in their very contrasting, lead on to, what more substantial matters move into view.

Portuguese (and Genoese) traffickers were dug in in dark presidios, provisioned from the sea, along the Atlantic coast; Spanish (and Genoese) ones were dug in, a bit less claustrally, along the Mediterranean. Ottoman mercenaries, attached to one and then another local pretender, were pressing in from the Algerian east. Armed ascetics, enveloped in sacredness, the famous marabouts, were striking out from fortified sanctuaries scattered through the Atlases, the Rif, the steppes, and the high plateaus.

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