Blurred Genres: the refiguration of social thought,
in: The American Scholar, vol. 49 no. 2 (1980), pp. 165-179


by Clifford Geertz




One of the fruits of today's critical spirit is the breakdown of the structures of knowledge; another is the plurality of conventions of interpretation. In the social sciences, the laws-&-instances ideal of explanation is being replaced by a cases-&-interpretations ideal. Analogies are often used in social theory to understand social behavior. Discussed are the game analogy, the drama analogy (as used in Victor Turner's ritual theory & in the work of the symbolic interaction theorists), & the text analogy, derived from semiotics. Together these constitute a challenge to central assumptions of mainstream social science, including the strict separation of data from theory, & the supposed neutrality of the social scientist. P. Czipott



source: Sociological Abstracts Inc. (paper version)


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