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In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.
In this compilation of essays written over a fifteen-year period, the distinguished anthropologist explains his view of culture and its symbolic dimensions
In essays covering everything from art and common sense to charisma and constructions of the self, the eminent cultural anthropologist and author of The Interpretation of Cultures deepens our understanding of human societies through the intimacies of "local knowledge." A companion volume to The Interpretation of Cultures, this book continues Geertz’s exploration of the meaning of culture and the importance of shared cultural symbolism. With a new introduction by the author.
"Unique and important . . . Patterns of Culture is a signpost on the road to a freer and more tolerant life." -- New York Times A remarkable introduction to cultural studies, Patterns of Culture is an eloquent declaration of the role of culture in shaping human life. In this fascinating work, the renowned anthropologist Ruth Benedict compares three societies -- the Zuni of the southwestern United States, the Kwakiutl of western Canada, and the Dobuans of Melanesia -- and demonstrates the diversity of behaviors in them. Benedict's groundbreaking study shows that a unique configuration of traits defines each human culture and she examines the relationship between culture and the individual. Featuring prefatory remarks by Franz Boas, Margaret Mead, and Louise Lamphere, this provocative work ultimately explores what it means to be human. "That today the modern world is on such easy terms with the concept of culture . . . is in very great part due to this book." -- Margaret Mead "Benedict's Patterns of Culture is a foundational text in teaching us the value of diversity. Her hope for the future still has resonance in the twenty-first century: that recognition of cultural relativity will create an appreciation for 'the coexisting and equally valid patterns of life which mankind has created for itself from the raw materials of existence.'" -- from the new foreword by Louise Lamphere, past president of the American Anthrolopological Association Ruth Benedict (1887-1948) was one of the most eminent anthropologists of the twentieth century. Her profoundly influential books Patterns of Culture and The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture were bestsellers when they were first published, and they have remained indispensable works for the study of culture in the many decades
A systematic re-evaluation of the role of culture in political analysis. The authors' contentions are that it is unwise to compare different societies without taking into account culture(s); that a cultural approach contributes meaning to political comparison; and that conceptual frameworks can be based on a theoretically eclectic approach.
In this collection of essays, Clifford Geertz explores the nature of his anthropological work in relation to a broader public, serving as the foremost spokesperson of his generation of scholars, those who came of age after World War II. Geertz, who once considered a career in philosophy, begins by explaining how he got swept into the revolutionary movement of symbolic anthropology. At that point, his work began to encompass not only the ethnography of groups in Southeast Asia and North Africa, but also the study of how meaning is made in all cultures--or, to use his phrase, to explore the "frames of meaning" in which people everywhere live out their lives. His philosophical orientation helped him to establish the role of anthropology within broader intellectual circles and led him to address the work of such leading thinkers as Charles Taylor, Thomas Kuhn, William James, and Jerome Bruner. In this volume, Geertz comments on their work as he explores questions in political philosophy, psychology, and religion that have intrigued him throughout his career but that now hold particular relevance in light of postmodernist thinking and multiculturalism. Available Light offers discussions of concepts such as nation, identity, country, and self, with a reminder that like symbols in general, their meanings are not categorically fixed but grow and change through time and place.