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Essay example - compare and contrast at least two anthropological interpretations of the term "culture"

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Pages 11 (2761 words)
Culture, as anthropologists see it, gives meaning, logic, and importance to many discrete and seemingly unconnected facts about human life. Culture evolves, and cultural evolution, like biological evolution, is progressive. Hence, inferior forms regularly give way to superior forms…

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Their vision of culture influenced anthropological thinking for at least fifty years. Culture, as a guidance system, leads society to notice important differences between humans and other phenomena that get directed. Humans and their guides are often in conflict. Humans, or peculiar primates, create a peculiar guidance system, one that is praised, died for, evaded, avoided, and taught to young children. Intuitively, all we know about culture makes sense.
C. Geertz represents a symbolic anthropology school which underlines a key role of symbols (thoughts) in society and its culture. Geertz develops and discusses the main ideas about culture and its meaning in The Interpretation of Culture (1973) and Local Knowledge: Further essays in Interpretive Anthropology (1983). It is important to note that this school of thoughts is also called an interpretive anthropology, paying a special attention to semiotic nature of culture. Under the leadership of Clifford Geertz, culture generates considerable excitement as a semiotic concept. Ideas and concepts used in his theories, Geertz took from the work of Gilbert Ryle and translating his philosophical ideas into notions usable by anthropologists, Geertz is revitalizing an old link with philosophy. This revitalization movement has its own vision of culture.
According to Geertz, culture is no longer a map lodged in human minds; it is no longer plans, recipes, and ...
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