Art as a cultural system
in: Modern Language Notes , vol. 91 no. 6 (1976), pp. 1473-1499.


by Clifford Geertz




The role of art in culture & specifically, the analysis of art as a semiotic system are discussed. Several studies of the arts of nonliterate peoples are reviewed, with an aim to uncovering the connection between general cultural patterns & particular traditions. Recent works in Renaissance Italian painting designed to connect that painting with its social & cultural context are also reviewed. A fieldwork-based analysis of oral oetry' in Morocco is described, demonstrating the connection between forms this poetry takes & attitudes toward language common among contemporary Moroccans. A semiotic approach to aesthetics is appropriate, in that the latter is less a formal science, like logic or mathematics, & more a social one, like history & anthropology. AA



source: Sociological Abstracts Inc. (paper version)


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