Theories of culture: a fundamental question - Interpretive approach: culture as semiotic

4 important questions on Theories of culture: a fundamental question - Interpretive approach: culture as semiotic

Which are the two issues regarding the way cultural analysis was done according to Geertz?

  1. the intrinsic completeness in trying to pin down what culture is
  2. thinness in description, i.e. relatively undetailed and closed observation of what is happening
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What can be done to solve these issues?

Conceptualising culture as semiotic: the analysis of culture should not be an experimental science in search of law but an interpretative one in search of meaning.
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What is thick description?

A method of describing and observing behaviours in detail and in their contexts.
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Where lies the value of the culture as semiotic?

It moves away from a causality model which, often found in the compositional approach, attributes observed unique behaviours and events to culture. Since is focuses on uncovering the meaning of actions in their contexts, it exposes a culture's normalness without reducing particularity.
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