Re: Geertz Quote

Wed, 10 Jan 1996 13:23:32 -0500

The Geertz quotation requested may be from the essay "Thick Description:
Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture" (The Interpretation of Cultures,
1973, NY; Basic Books, page 22):

"The notion that one can find the essence of national societies,
civilizations, gret religions, or whatever summed up and simplified in so-
called "typical" small towns and villages in palpable nonsense. What one
finds in small towns and villages is (alas) small-town or village life. If
localized, microscopic studies were really dependent for their greater
relevance upon such a premise--that they captured the great world in the
little--they wouldn't have any relevance.
But, of course, they are not. The locus of study is not the object of
study. Anthropologists don't study villages (tribes, towns, neighborhoods
...); they study _in_ villages."

Eric Silverman
DePauw Univ.