Saturday, August 29, 2009

because i didn't want the "nerd party" label to get lonely:

i am so happy to be in school. i am so happy to be in classes where i get to read sentences (that is a single sentence, dudes!) like this:

"But the point is that between what Ryle calls the "thin description" of what the rehearser (parodist, winker, twitcher . . .) is doing ("rapidly contracting his right eyelids") and the "thick description" of what he is doing ("practicing a burlesque of a friend faking a wink to deceive an innocent into thinking a conspiracy is in motion") lies the object of ethnography: a stratified hierarchy of meaningful structures in terms of which twitches, winks, fake-winks, parodies, rehearsals of parodies are produced, perceived, and interpreted, and without which they would not (not even the zero-form twitches, which, as a cultural category, are as much nonwinks as winks are nontwitches) in fact exist, no matter what anyone did or didn't do with his eyelids" (Clifford Geertz, "Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture," in The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays by Clifford Geertz), 7.


brother bear said...

holy shit.

sarah said...

within the context of the article it makes a lot more sense. and it's a pretty good point about the ways in which we view culture. man i'm glad to be back in classes like this; i'm way better at this kind of stuff than arguing about specific methodological choices in research design of remote sensing of stream channel changes. strictly hypothetically speaking.