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Geertz, Common Sense

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... true belief ... of knowing / justification of belief examination of the social ... the governance of group belief) that influence human action (Budd, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Geertz, Common Sense


1
Geertz, Common Sense
2
Common Sense as a Cultural System
  • common sense
  • Discuss Zande vs. Evans-Pritchards common
    sense (what is the underlying system?).
  • Why is it useful to look at categories that cross
    cultures (e.g. hermaphroditism)?
  • Give own examples of common sense systems
  • that have shifted historically
  • that demonstrate cultural relativity

3
Common Sense as a Cultural System
  • common sense
  • How is common sense knowledge system built?
  • What are transmission systems for common sense
    knowledge systems?
  • Give examples of how common sense can regulate
    activities of the society (e.g. economic,
    agricultural, etc.). What are the limitations?

4
Common Sense as a Cultural System
  • Geertz seeks to understand roughcast shapes of
    colloquial culture vs. worked-up shapes of
    studied culture
  • common sense dimension of culture not usually
    conceived as forming an ordered realm

5
Common Sense as a Cultural System
  • the elementary forms of religious life among the
    Australian aborigines, native botanical systems
    in Africa, spontaneous sense of design on the
    Northwest Coast, concrete science in the
    Amazon
  • traditional occupation of anthropologists to find
    out about systematized knowledge in different
    cultures

6
Common Sense as a Cultural System
  • common sense
  • immediate deliverance of experience
  • realm of the given and undeniable,
    matter-of-fact, self-evident realities
  • just life with world as its authority
  • if it rains it is common sense to step into the
    house
  • what everyone with common sense knows

7
Common Sense as a Cultural System
  • common sense
  • not a tightly integrated system but based on
    conviction by those who have it on its validity
  • epistemology of common sense is external reality
    (contrast with religion -- revelation, science
    -- method, ideology -- moral passion)
  • common sense (problem of everyday experience,
    how we construe the world we biographically
    inhabit)
  • interpretation of experience constructed
    cultural system what leads to what
  • system of thought based on pre-suppositions

8
Common Sense as a Cultural System
  • common sense / everyday experience
  • categories organized into systems
  • transmitted body of knowledge
  • natural symbols
  • formalized knowledge information infrastructures
  • Why? moral order creates meaning

9
Budd, Jesse Shera
10
Jesse Shera, Sociologist of Knowledge?
  • Jesse Hauk Shera (1903-1982)
  • librarian / scholar / theoretician /philosopher /
    educator
  • An early pioneer in the electronic organization
    of information and library catalog
  • automation, Jesse Hauk Shera was born in Oxford,
    Ohio, on December 8, 1903, the son of
  • a dairyman. He grew up in Oxford, graduating from
    McGuffey High School in 1921.
  • While in high school, Shera was a member of the
    debating team as well as a cheerleader.
  • Initially interested in a career in chemistry, a
    visual impairment, poor eyesight, prevented
  • him from pursuing this goal. Instead, he remained
    in Oxford and graduated with honors
  • with an A. B. in English from Miami University in
    1925. He continued his educational
  • career at Yale University, graduating in 1927
    with a master's degree in English. As
  • employment for English professors was scarce in
    the pre-depression era, Shera was unable
  • to procure a teaching position and returned to
    Ohio, where he joined the library staff at
  • Miami University. (From http//www2.msstate.edu/
    jeg98/JShera.htm)

11
Social Epistemology / Sociology of Knowledge
  • knowledge justified true belief
  • (social) epistemology the limits of knowing /
    justification of belief examination of the
    social dynamics of knowledge claims
  • sociology of knowledge primary focus is on the
    social dynamics (including the creation and
    maintenance of culture, the construction of
    rules, tacit or otherwise, of action and
    behavior, and the governance of group belief)
    that influence human action (Budd, p. 425)

12
Jesse Shera, Sociologist of Knowledge?
  • LIS epistemological discipline (a body of new
    knowledge about knowledge itself
  • Engagement with the social processes of knowledge
    creation, distribution, and use
  • recorded knowledge graphic record (Shera) and
    beyond

13
Osborne, Locating Identity
14
Locating Identity
  • Explain the places of memory concept. Give
    examples of such 'places' that you are familiar
    with. How is memory organized around space and
    time?
  • Why is memory related to identity of groups? Why
    is it important for groups to have 'memory'
    organized a certain way? What are the channels of
    transmission for group memory (say, in a family,
    an institution, a nation).

15
Locating Identity
  • Give examples of mnemonic devices (landscapes,
    verse, objects, etc.). Which ones among them
    could serve as collective markers, and which ones
    organize personal memories. How do they differ?
  • Discuss how memory can be individual, collective,
    and hegemonic.

16
Locating Identity
  • Why does the author say that systems of
    remembering and forgetting are socially
    constructed. How is 'forgetting' part of the
    process of remembering?

17
Locating Identity
  • What, in your opinion, is the significance of
    memory research for managing memory institutions
    (libraries, archives, museums)? What do they have
    in common as connection to building collective
    identity? What are the pittfals for these
    institutions?
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