Monday 11th March – text chosen by Fiona McGowan.
Clifford Geertz was an American anthropologist who is remembered mostly for his strong support for and influence on the practice of symbolic anthropology, a framework which gives prime attention to the role of symbols in constructing public meaning.
For Monday’s reading group I’ve chosen a chapter from Clifford Geertz book of essays – The Interpretation of Cultures. The first chapter ‘Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture’ outlines the concept of ‘thick description’ in qualitative research, and serves as an introduction and overview to the other essays, all of which explore Geertz view of what culture is, what role it plays in social life, and how it should be studied.
My research is exploring the relationship between local food producers and consumers, and I am interested in using design ethnography to do this. Geertz perspective on culture is of interest because it focuses on understanding meaning within actions – the essence of ethnographic enquiry.