By Clifford Geertz
"Suppose," Clifford Geertz indicates, "having entangled your self each on occasion over 4 many years or so within the goings-on in provincial cities, one a Southeast Asian bend within the highway, one a North African outpost and passage element, you wanted to claim whatever approximately how these goings-on had changed." a story offers itself, a travel of indices and developments, might be a memoir? None, even if, will suffice, simply because in 40 years extra has replaced than these towns--the anthropologist, for example, anthropology itself, even the highbrow and ethical global within which the self-discipline exists. And so, in in retrospect on 4 many years of anthropology within the box, Geertz has created a piece that's usually unclassifiable, a private background that also is a retrospective mirrored image on advancements within the human sciences amid political, social, and cultural alterations on the earth. a chic summation of 1 of the main impressive careers in anthropology, it really is whilst an eloquent assertion of the needs and probabilities of anthropology's interpretive powers.
To view his cities in time, Pare in Indonesia and Sefrou in Morocco, Geertz adopts a variety of views on anthropological study and research throughout the post-colonial interval, the chilly battle, and the emergence of the recent states of Asia and Africa. all through, he clarifies his personal place on a extensive sequence of matters instantly empirical, methodological, theoretical, and private. the result's a really unique publication, one who screens a specific method of working towards the human sciences and therefore a particular--and really efficacious--view of what those sciences are, were, and may turn into.
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Extra resources for After the Fact: Two Countries, Four Decades, One Anthropologist (The Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures)
It seems only natural, therefore, and candid, thus to present them. Counter-cases, counterposed. Why is it, then, this to-and-fro way of seeing things for the occasion granted, that such lately formed but early outlined countries as these, places that have been places ("The Most Distant West," "The Lands Below the Winds") for anyway a thousand years, but centered, or half-centered, polities ("Al-Makzan," "Le Protectorat du Maroc," "Al-Mamlakat Al-Magribiya," "Mataram," "Oost Indie," "Republik Indonesia") for, at best, a few hundred, seem to show, wherever you cut into them along this chopped-up line of time, a certain character, reminiscent and completive of what you think went on before and initiative and presageful of C0 UNT RI E S • 29 what you see as having come along after?
It is, of course, true that group rivalry plays a role in Moroccan politics, or any other, and that personal dependencies play one in Indonesian, or any other. What differs is the significance such matters, and others (wealth, pedigree, education, luck, allure, piety, access to weapons), which also appear in some form or other virtually everywhere, have in any particular instance: their salience, centrality, moment, weight. This is, as any player very soon realizes, 40· AFTER THE FACT an extraordinarily difficult matter to assess, which is perhaps why we social scientists, who are not players but reasoners and onlookers, professional second-guessers, are so given to abstract representations of Power, the State, Domination, and Authority-the drum-roll words of spectator realism.
For an ethnographer everything is a matter of one thing leading to another, that to a third, and that to one hardly knows what. Beyond Pare and Sefrou, around them, behind them, standing before them, hovering over them, is an enormous array of-what shall I call them? practices? epistemes? social forrrlations? -that connect to them, and that must find a place in any project which seeks to gain from messing around in them something more than odd information. However difficult it may be to begin this sort of discourse, it is even harder to stop it.