Clifford Geertz Clifford Geertz > Quotes


Clifford Geertz quotes (showing 1-13 of 13)

“Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun.”
Clifford Geertz
“Cultural analysis is intrinsically incomplete. And, worse than that, the more deeply it goes the less complete it is.”
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, The Interpretation of Cultures
“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
“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
“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, The Interpretation of Cultures
“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, The Interpretation of Cultures
“Geçmişle ne yapılacağını bilmek zordur. Bu fantaziyi ne kadar kurarsanız kurun, veya hatırlarken ne kadar ağır nostalji hissederseniz hissedin, içinde yaşayamazsınız. her ne kadar gösterici, önerici veya tehlike habercisi olsa dahi ondan geleceği öngöremezsiniz; gerçekleşmesi yakın şeyler sık sık olmaz, ipucu vermeyen şeyler sık sık gerçekleşir. Bence, tarihten, sosyal olaylara evrensel olarak uygulanabilecek kanunlar, ölçülebilir sonuçları belirleyen demir zorunluluklar çıkaramazsınız, bunu yapmayı amaçlayan teşebbüsler nafile oldukları kadar bitmez görünse de. İçinde, mutat varoluşun belirsizliklerini çözecek ve umumî davranışın paradokslarını dindirecek ebedî gerçeklikler de bulamazsınız, ya da yine ben bulamam; doğrusu, ana senaryolar yoktur. İşe yararmış gibi görüdnüğü tek şey (belki de birincil olarak, sırf insanların neler anlattığını takdir etmenin yanında) insanın çevresinde neler olduğunu biraz daha az anlamsızca algılamak, gerçekte olanlardan görüntüye girenlere biraz daha bilinçlice tepki vermektir. Geçmişle ilgili klişelerin hepsi; özsüz olduğu, bir kova kül olduğu, başka bir ülke olduğu, geçmiş bile olmadığı, eğer hatırlanmazsa tekrarlanmaya mahkum olduğunuz, cennete doğru geri geri giderken önümüzde biriken enkaz olduğu... arasından işe yarar gerçeğe en çok yaklaşanı Kierkegaard'ın "hayat ileri doğru yaşanır ama geriye doğru anlaşılır"ıdır.”
Clifford Geertz, After the Fact: Two Countries, Four Decades, One Anthropologist
“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, The Interpretation of Cultures
“What we had actually demonstrated was our cowardice, but there is fellowship in that too.”
Clifford Geertz


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