Handlung, Text, Kultur. Ɯberlegungen zur hermeneutischen Anthropologie zwischen Clifford Geertz und Paul Ricoeur


Action, text, culture: Reflections on hermeneutical anthropology between Clifford Geertz and Paul Ricoeur

The paper investigates the phenomenon of foreignness and its understanding in ethnographic and philosophical context. The role of a phenomenologicalhermeneutic conception of text and action in bridging the gap between the native’s and the observer’s points of view with respect to the description of cultural phenomena is elucidated by way of comparing the theories of anthropologist Clifford Geertz and philosopher Paul Ricoeur. Hidden links between the two authors, who make sparse references to one another, but should be connected more thoroughly, are followed. The methods of “thick description” (Geertz) and of taking the “text as a model” (Ricoeur) for understanding social and cultural performances are analysed to attain a new notion of culture as context.

Keywords: foreignness, hermeneutics, text, action, culture, thick description

[Full Article PDF]