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Clifford Geertz's Quotes

Clifford Geertz profile photo

Born: 1926-08-23
Profession: Scientist
Nation: American
Biography of Clifford Geertz

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Meaning is socially, historically, and rhetorically constructed.

Tags: Meaning, Socially

Most anthropologists are doing straightforward ethnography, and should.

Tags: Against, Fasten, Instincts

The point of literary criticism in anthropology is not to replace research, but to find out how it is that we are persuasive.

Tags: Criticism, Point, Research

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

Tags: Become, History, Science

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.

Tags: Feminist, Issue, Quite

I was trained in the '50s as a New Critic. I remember what literature was like before the New Critics, when people stood up and talked about Shelley's soul and such things.

Tags: Literature, Remember, Soul

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.

Tags: Science, Whatever, Writing

If there's ever a place where you can't argue that you can put the facts over here and the text over there and see if they fit, it is surely in anthropology.

Tags: Here, Place, Put

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.

Tags: Done, Put, Someone

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.

Tags: Everyone, Him, Mind

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

Tags: Hard, Time, Understand

People keep asking how anthropology is different from sociology, and everybody gets nervous.

Tags: Everybody, Keep, Nervous

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

Tags: Making, Often, Writing

The way in which mathematicians and physicists and historians talk is quite different, and what a physicist means by physical intuition and what a mathematician means by beauty or elegance are things worth thinking about.

Tags: Beauty, Talk, Thinking

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.

Tags: Alive, Bad, Makes

I never leave a sentence or a paragraph until I'm satisfied with it.

Tags: Leave, Satisfied, Until

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

Tags: Happens, Writer, Writing

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.

Tags: Knowledge, Nature, Thought

We're getting closer to our nature.

Tags: Closer, Getting, Nature

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.

Tags: Father, Mother, Others
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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.

Tags: Call, Done, Name

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

Tags: Female, Feminist, General

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.

Tags: Great, Matter, Real

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

Tags: Agree, Almost, Innate

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

Tags: Attempt, Aware, Gender

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

Tags: Everybody, Single, Write

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

Tags: Moving, Point, Toward

I don't write drafts. I write from the beginning to the end, and when it's finished, it's done.

Tags: Done, End, Write

I think feminism has had a major impact on anthropology.

Tags: Feminism, Impact, Major

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

Tags: American, Best, Seems

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

Tags: Between, Deep, Science

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

Tags: Known, Scattered, Uncertain

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

Tags: Fox, Hedgehog, Try

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

Tags: Books, Moon, View

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

Tags: Remember, Someone, Writing
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