Inspiration, Quotes, Productivity and More

36 Clifford Geertz Quotes On Anthropology

Clifford Geertz was born on August 23, 1926 in San Francisco and is widely known for his contribution to the field of anthropology and ethnography. Geertz wrote his thesis on anthropology at Harvard in 1956. He taught Anthropology at the University of California and the University of Chicago from 1960 onwards.

His conceptions of culture made him a researcher close to culturalism in opposition to functionalism and structuralism. According to Clifford Geertz, in a given culture, forms and symbolism are the drivers which define the living experience of each individual.

He coined the concept of “Thich Description” in opposition to “thin description”. While the latter is a factual detail without interpretation, think description considers details, structures, meanings, symbols, forms when talking about cultures

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

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

Clifford Geertz

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

Clifford Geertz

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

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

Clifford Geertz

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

Clifford Geertz

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clifford Geertz

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

Clifford Geertz

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

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 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.

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

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

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.

Clifford Geertz

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

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

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

Clifford Geertz

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

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

We’re getting closer to our nature.

Clifford Geertz

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

Clifford Geertz

Most anthropologists are doing straightforward ethnography, and should.

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’ve written a lot of books which are written from the moon – the view from nowhere.

Clifford Geertz

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

Clifford Geertz

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.

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

Meaning is socially, historically, and rhetorically constructed.

Clifford Geertz

116 Most Amazing Quotes About Literature

It is one of the paradoxes of American literature that our writers are forever looking back with love and nostalgia at lives they couldn’t wait to leave.

Anatole Broyard

The Impact Of Reading Novels On Your Brain

Nоwаdауѕ, thе mаjоrіtу оf people’s recreational tіmе іѕ ѕреnt еіthеr ѕtаrіng іntо their smartphones, thе TV оr рlауіng gаmеѕ .