The Interpretation Of Cultures

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Basic Books, May 19, 1977 - Social Science - 480 pages
One of the twentieth century's most influential books, this classic work of anthropology offers a groundbreaking exploration of what culture is
With The Interpretation of Cultures, the distinguished anthropologist Clifford Geertz developed the concept of thick description, and in so doing, he virtually rewrote the rules of his field. Culture, Geertz argues, does not drive human behavior. Rather, it is a web of symbols that can help us better understand what that behavior means. A thick description explains not only the behavior, but the context in which it occurs, and to describe something thickly, Geertz argues, is the fundamental role of the anthropologist.

Named one of the 100 most important books published since World War II by the Times Literary Supplement, The Interpretation of Cultures transformed how we think about others' cultures and our own. This definitive edition, with a foreword by Robert Darnton, remains an essential book for anthropologists, historians, and anyone else seeking to better understand human cultures.

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Contents

Toward an Interpretive
3
Chapter 2 The Impact of the Concept of Culture
33
Chapter 3 The Growth of Culture and the Evolution
55
Copyright

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About the author (1977)

Clifford Geertz (1926-2006) was a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His book Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1988.

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