Cultural Anthropology by Clifford Geertz and Marshall Sahlins

Apr 30th, 2015
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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Course: Social Sciences
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It might sound a little unusual at first, but the different approaches to anthropological study are very similar to the nightly news. Each day, countless events take place that are covered by various news stations. The events are then compiled, interpreted, and framed in particular ways that tell one aspect of the story.

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It might sound a little unusual at first, but the different approaches to anthropological study are very similar to the nightly news. Each day, countless events take place that are covered by various news stations. The events are then compiled, interpreted, and framed in particular ways that tell one aspect of the story. Thus, it is plain to see that in broadcasting news stories to the world, the various stations will use different methods of telling the story. This analogy coincides with the range of theories associated with anthropology. Anthropology strives to retell the stories of cultural events. In order to do so, anthropologists employ a variety of techniques to best convey a concrete understanding. Therefore, anthropologists develop methodologies that are not all alike. This is not to say that one view is necessarily better than another, but rather, these different methods add to the richness and diversity of anthropological study. It would be very interesting to therefore explore differing methods that go into unearthing the true interpretation of a cultural event. In order to illustrate anthropological styles working differently, the writings of Clifford Geertz and Marshall Sahlins will be used. Geertz provides a Balinese cockfight, while Sahlins explores the adventures of Captain James Cook. Though these are very different examples, anthropological theory and interpretation are central to both accounts. However, in order to truly appreciate the various styles us

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