Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning.
Cultural analysis is intrinsically incomplete. And, worse than that, the more deeply it goes the less complete it is.
A religion is a system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing those conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.
Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun.
I'm writing a review of three books on feminism and science, and it's about social constructionism. So I would say I'm a social constructionist, whatever that means.
I do think the attempt to raise consciousness has succeeded. People are very aware of gender concerns now.
I was trained in the '50s as a New Critic. I remember what literature was like before the New Critics, when people stood up and talked about Shelley's soul and such things.
My instincts are always against people who want to fasten some sort of hegemony onto things.
People keep asking how anthropology is different from sociology, and everybody gets nervous.
Two people have been really liberating in my mind; one is Wittgenstein and the other is Burke. I read Burke before he was a secular saint, before everyone was reading him.
We need to think more about the nature of rhetoric in anthropology. There isn't a body of knowledge and thought to fall back on in this regard.
We're getting closer to our nature.
I don't write drafts. I write from the beginning to the end, and when it's finished, it's done.
I had a hard time convincing students that they were going to North Africa to understand the North Africans, not to understand themselves.
Gender consciousness has become involved in almost every intellectual field: history, literature, science, anthropology. There's been an extraordinary advance.