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Clifford Geertz

Clifford GeertzBorn: 23-Aug-1926
Birthplace: San Francisco, CA
Died: 30-Oct-2006
Location of death: Philadelphia, PA [1]
Cause of death: Complications of Surgery

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Anthropologist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Thick Description

Military service: US Navy (WWII, 1943-45)

American anthropologist famed for his views on cultural relativism and the profound psychological dependency that the human mind has upon culturally derived beliefs and systems of meaning. According to Geertz, the role of the anthropologists is to uncover and describe the systems of meaning within a particular culture, decoding the symbols in which it is expressed and conveyed, and describing the behaviors and social relationships to which these systems of meaning give rise.


[1] Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Father: Clifford James Geertz
Mother: Lois Brieger
Wife: Hidred Storey (m. 1948, div. 1981)
Wife: Karen Blu (one son, one daughter)

    University: BA, Antioch College (1950)
    University: PhD, Harvard University (1956)
    Professor: University of Chicago (1960-70)
    Professor: Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ (1970-2000)
    Professor: Professor Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ

    John Kerry for President

Author of books:
Islam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia (1971)
The Interpretation of Cultures (1973, anthropology)


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