Geertz, Clifford James

Geertz, Clifford James gĭrts [key], 1926–2006, American cultural anthropologist, b. San Francisco. He was a professor of anthropology at the Univ. of Chicago from 1960 to 1970, when he became a professor (1970–2000) of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He also served as Eastman Professor at Oxford (1978–79). Famous for advocating a Weberian approach to culture, he did fieldwork in Java, Bali, and Morocco. He has explored the interpretive and critical methodologies of anthropology and argued that cultures should be interpreted as texts, much like literature. A prolific and highly gifted writer, his works include Peddlers and Princes (1963), Agricultural Involution (1963), Islam Observed (1968), The Interpretation of Cultures (1973), Myth, Symbol, and Culture (1974), Negara: The Theater State in Nineteenth-Century Bali (1980), Local Knowledge (1983), Works and Lives (1988), and a memoir, After the Fact (1995).

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