Re: Geertz: needs help!

Stephanie G. Folse (
9 Nov 1995 04:37:45 GMT

In article <47r1af$>,
Stig-Lennart Soerensen <> wrote:
>Hi all!
>Iam writing an essay as a part of my finals in our under-graduate course in
>social-antrophology, and I wonder if someone could help me out with a couple of
>terms that Geertz has been known for:
>1. the natives point of view, is as far as I understands, a juxtaposition between emic and
>etic standpoints, and to some degree describe the situation as it is for the 'natives'

Basically, yes. Here's an example: Judaic and Islamic religions
prohibit the eating of pork. Now, Marvin Harris (you can think of him as
the anti-Geertz, if this helps), as a cultural materialist, looks at it
this way: the area in which the Judaic and Islamic peoples arose were
not suited for raising pigs, which eat things that humans eat and
therefore are in direct competition with humans for resources. It is far
more efficient to raise animals like cows and goats, which can eat food
that humans cannot, and convert those items into calories fit for human
consumption in the form of milk and meat. He says that the prohibitions
were incorporated into religious law to ensure that no one tried to raise
pigs. (it's a little more complicated than that, but my brain isn't
working on full tonight, so I'll leave it there.)

Geertz would be more interested in the native's point of view. He'd
study the reasons they gave for not eating pork: because God told them
not to. He'd consider this the important part of the question, and the
fact that the prohibition of pork results in a more effective allocation
of resources would be beside the point, because the *culture* is concerned
with God's laws, and not with how many meat calories per pound of feed they
can produce.

>2. the 'thick' thing. What is it, and what work is it best featured in.
>3. 'near' and 'close' describitions.

I have no idea what you are talking about here. Perhaps a little more info?

>I have until the 20'th to write the essay, so any help ASAP is appreciated, I might even send
>a Mack beer (local famous label) to those who give me sound answers/tips/clues.
>Stig, grateful for any form of reply.

OK, here you are. :)

Stephanie, procrastinating from the work she *should* be doing...

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