Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, "Ideology as a Cultural System" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual




Скачать 108.33 Kb.
НазваниеScanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, "Ideology as a Cultural System" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual
страница4/7
Дата20.10.2012
Размер108.33 Kb.
ТипДокументы
1   2   3   4   5   6   7
The first step ill the solution of a problem consists in the construction of a model or ima2c of the "relevant features" of the [environment]. These models can be constructed from many things including parts of the organic tissue of the body and, by man, paper and pencil or actual artifacts. Once a model has been constructed it can be manipulated under various hypothetical conditions and constraints. The organism is then able to "observe" the outcome of these manipulations, and to project them onto the environment so that prediction is possible. According to this view, an aeronautical engineer is thinking when he manipulates a model of a new airplane in a wind tunnel. The motorlst is thinking when he runs his finger over a line on a map, the finger serving as a model of the relevant aspects of the automobile, the map as a model of the road. External models of this kind are often used in thinking about complex [environments]. Images used in covert thinking depend upon the availability of the physieo-chemieal events of the organism which must be used to form models.34 This view does not, of course, deny consciousness: it defines it. Every conscious perception is, as Percy has argued, an act of recognition, a pairing in which an object (or an event, an act, an emotion) is identified by placing it against the background of an appropriate symbol: It is not enough to say that one is conscious of something; one is also eonseious of something being something. There is a difference between the apprehension of a gestalt (a chicken perceived the Jastrow effect as well as a human) and the grasping of it under its symbolic vehicle. As I gaze about the room. I am aware of a series of almost effortless acts of mate hmg: seeing an object and knowing what it is. If my eye falls upon an unfamiliar something. I am immediately aware that one term of the match is missing, I ask what [the objects is�an exceedingly mysterious question. 35 What is missing and what is being asked for are an applicable symbolic model under which to subsume the "unfamiliar something" and so render it familiar: If I see all object at some distance and do not quite recognize it, I may see it, actually see it, as a succession of different things, each rejected by the criterion of fit as I come closer. until one is positively certified. A patch of sunlight in a field I may actually see as a rabbit�a seeing which goes much further than the guess that it may be a rabbit; no, the perceptual ges talt is so construed. actually stamped by the essence of rabbitness: I could have sworn it was a rabbit. On coming closer. the sunlight pattern changes enough so that the rabbit-cast is disallowed. The rabbit vanishes and I make another cast: it is a paper bag. and so on. But most significant of all. even the last. the "correct" recognition is quite as mediate an apprehension as the incorrect ones; it is also a cast, a pairing, an approximation. And let us note in passing that even though it is correct. even though it is borne out by all indices. it may operate quite as effectively to conceal as to discover. When I recognize a strange bird as a sparrow. I tend to dispose of the bird under its appropriate formulation: it is only a sparrow.36 Despite the somewhat intellectualist tone of these various examples, the extrinsic theory of thought is extendable to the affective side of human mentality as well.37 As a road map transforms mere physical locations into "places," connected by numbered routes and separated by measured distances, and so enables us to find our way from where we are to where we want to go, so a poem like, for example, Hopkins's "Felix Randal" provides, through the evocative power of its charged language, a symbolic model of the emotional impact of premature death, which, if we are as impressed with its penetration as with the road map's, transforms physical sensations into sentiments and attitudes and enables us to react to such a tragedy not "blindly" but "intelligently." The central rituals of religion�a mass, a pilgrimage, a corroboree�are symbolic models (here more in the form of activities than of words) of a particuiar sense of the divine, a certain sort of devotional mood, which their continual re-enactment tends to produce in their participants. Of course, as most acts of what is usually called "cognition" are more on the level of identifying a rabbit than operating a wind tunnel, so most of what is usually called "expression" (the dichotomy is often overdrawn and almost universally misconstrued) is mediated more by models drawn from popular culture than from high art and formal religious ritual. But the point is that the development, maintenance, and dissolution of "moods," "attitudes," "sentiments," and so forth are no more "a ghostly process occurring in streams of consciousness we are debarred from visiting" than is the discrimination of objects, events, structures, processes, and so forth in our environment. Here, too, "we are describing the ways in which . . . people conduct parts of their predominantly public behavior." 38 Whatever their other differences, both socalled cognitive and socalled expressive symbols or symbol-systems have, then, at least one thing in common: they are extrinsic sources of information in terms of which human life can be patterned�extrapersonal mechanisms for the perception, understanding, judgment, and manipulation of the world. Culture patterns�religious, philosophical, aesthetic, scientific, ideological�are "programs"; they provide a template or blueprint for the organization of social and psychological processes, much as genetic systems provide such a template for the organization of organic processes: These considerations define the terms in which we approach the problem of "reductionism" in psychology and social science. The levels we have tentatively discriminated [organism, personality, social system, culture] . . . are . . . levels of organization and control. The lower levels "condition," and thus in a sense "determine" the structures into which they enter, in the same sense that the stability of a building depends on the properties of the materials out of which it is constructed. But the physical properties of the materials do not determine the plan of the building; this is a factor of another order, one of organization. And the organization controls the relations of the materials to each other, the ways in which they are utilized in the building by virtue of which it constitutes an ordered system of a particular type �-looking downward" in the series, we can always investigate and discover sets of "conditions" in which the function of a higher order of organization is dependent. There is, thus, an immensely complicated set of physiological conditions on which psychological functioning is dependent, etc. Properly understood and evaluated, these conditions are always authentic determinants of process in the organized systems at the next higher levels. We may, however also look "upward" in the series. In this direction we see "structures ' organization patterns, patterns of meaning, programs," etc., which are the focus of the organization of the system at the level on which we have concentrated our attention.39 The reason such symbolic templates are necessary is that, as has been often remarked, human behavior is inherently extremely plastic. Not strictly but only very broadly controlled by genetic programs or models �intrinsic sources of information�such behavior must, if it is to have any effective form at all, be controlled to a significant extent by extrinsic ones. Birds learn how to fly without wind tunnels, and whatever reactions lower animals have to death are in great part innate, physiologically preformed.40 The extreme generality, diffuseness, and variability of man's innate response capacities mean that the particular pattern his behavior takes is guided predominantly by cultural rather than genetic templates, the latter setting the overall psychophysical context within which precise activity sequences are organized by the former. The toolmaking, laughing, or lying animal, man, is also the incomplete�or, more accurately, self-completing�animal. The agent of his own realization, he creates out of his general capacity for the construction ol symbolic models the specific capabilities that define him. Or�to return at last to our subject� it is through the construction of ideologies, sche matic images of social order, that man makes himself for better worse a political animal. Further, as the various sorts of cultural symbol-systems are extrinsic sources of information, templates for the organization of social and psychological processes, they come most crucially into play in situations where the particular kind of information they contain is lacking, where institutionalized guides for behavior, thought, or feeling are weak or absent. It is in country unfamiliar emotionally or topographically that one needs poems and road maps. So too with ideology. In polities firmly embedded in Edmund Burke's golden assemblage of "ancient opinions and rules of life," the role of ideology, in any explicit sense, is marginal. In such truly traditional political systems the participants act as (to use another Burkean phrase) men of untaught feelings; they are guided both emotionally and intellectually in their judgments and activities by unexamined prejudices, which do not leave them "hesitating in the moment of decision, sceptical, puzzled and unresolved." But when, as in the revolutionary France Burke was indicting and in fact in the shaken England from which, as perhaps his nation's greatest ideologue, he was indicting it, those hallowed opinions and rules of life come into question, the search for systematic ideological formulations, either to reinforce them or to replace them, flourishes. The function of ideology is to make an autonomous politics possible by providing the authoritative concepts that render it meaningful, the suasive images by means of which it can be sensibly grasped.41 It is, in fact, precisely at the point at which a political system begins to free itself from the immediate governance of received tradition, from the direct and detailed guidance of religious or philosophical canons on the one hand and from the unreflective precepts of conventional moralism on the other, that formal ideologies tend first to emerge and take hold.42 The differentiation of an autonomous polity implies the differentiation, too, of a separate and distinct cultural model of political action, for the older, unspecialized models are either too comprehensive or too concrete to provide the sort of guidance such a political system demands. Either they trammel political behavior by encumbering it with transcendental significance, or they stifle political imagination by binding it to the blank realism of habitual judgment. It is when neither a society's most general cultural orientations nor its most down-to-earth, "pragmatic" ones suffice any longer to provide an adequate image of political process that ideologies begin to become crucial as sources of sociopolitical meanings and attitudes. In one sense, this statement is but another way of saying that ideology is a response to strain. But now we are including cultural as well as social and psychological strain. It is a loss of orientation that most directly gives rise to ideological activity, an inability, for lack of usable models, to comprehend the universe of civic rights and responsibilities in which one finds oneself located. The development of a differentiated polity (or of greater internal differentiation within such a polity) may and commonly does bring with it severe social dislocation and psychological tension. But it also brings with it conceptual confusion, as the established images of political order fade into irrelevance or are driven into disrepute. The reason why the French Revolution was, at least up to its time, the greatest incubator of extremist ideologies, "progressive" and "reactionary" alike, in human history was not that either personal insecurity or social disequilibrium were deeper and more pervasive than at many earlier periods�though they were deep and pervasive enough�but because the central organizing principle of political life, the divine right of kings, was destroyed.43 It is a confluence of sociopsychological strain and an absence of cultural resources by means of which to make sense of the strain, each exacerbating the other, that sets the stage for the rise of systematic (political, moral, or economic) ideologies. And it is, in turn, the attempt of ideologies to render otherwise incomprehensible social situations meaningful, to so construe them as to make it possible to act purposefully within them, that accounts both for the ideologies' highly figurative nature and for the intensity with which, once accepted, they are held. As metaphor extends language by broadening its semantic range, enabling it to express meanings it cannot or at least cannot yet express literally, so the head-on clash of literal meanings in ideology�the irony, the hyperbole, the overdrawn antithesis� provides novel symbolic frames against which to match the myriad "unfamiliar somethings" that, like a journey to a strange country, are produced by a transformation in political life. Whatever else ideologies may be�projections of unacknowledged fears, disguises for ulterior motives, phatic expressions of group solidarity�they are, most distinctively, maps of problematic social reality and matrices for the creation of collective conscience. Whether, in any particular case, the map is accurate or the conscience creditable is a separate question to which one can hardly give the same answer for Nazism and Zionism, for the nationalisms of McCarthy and of Churchill, for the defenders of segregation and its opponents. VI. Though ideological ferment is, of course, widespread in modern society, perhaps its most prominent locus at the moment lies in the new (or renewed) states of Asia, Africa, and some parts of Latin America, for it is in these states, Communist or not, that the initial steps away from a traditional politics of piety and proverb are just now being taken. The attainment of independence, the overthrow of established ruling classes, the popularization of legitimacy, the rationalization of public administration, the rise of modern elites, the spread of literacy and mass communications, and the propulsion willy-nilly of inexperienced governments into the midst of a precarious international order that even its older participants do not very well understand all make for a pervasive sense of disorientation, a disorientation in whose face received images of authority, responsibility, and civic purpose seem radically inadett,: quate. The search for a new symbolic framework in terms of which to formulate, think about, and react to political problems, whether in the form of nationalism, Marxism, liberalism, populism, racism, Caesarism, ecclesiasticism, or some variety of reconstructed traditionalism (or, most commonly, a confused melange of several of these) is therefore tremendously intense. Intense�but indeterminate. For the most part, the new states are still groping for usable political concepts, not yet grasping them; and the outcome in almost every case, at least in every non-Communist case, is uncertain not merely in the sense that the outcome of any historical process is uncertain but in the sense that even a broad and general assessment of overall direction is extremely difficult to make. Intellectually, everything is in motion, and the words of that extravagant poet in politics, Lamartine, written of nineteenth century France, apply to the new states with perhaps even greater appropriateness than they did to the dying July Monarchy: These times are times of chaos; opinions are a scramble; parties are a jumble; the language of new ideas has not been created; nothing is more difficult than to give a good definition of oneself in religion, in philosophy, in politics. One feels, one knows, one lives, and at need. one dies for one's cause, but one cannot name it. It is the problem of this time to classify things and men.... The world has jumbled its catalog.44 This observation is no truer anywhere in the world right now [l964] than it is in Indonesia, where the whole political process is mired in a slough of ideological symbols, each attempting and so far each failing to unjumble the Republic's catalogue, to name its cause, and to give point and purpose to its polity.
1   2   3   4   5   6   7

Похожие:

Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, \"Ideology as a Cultural System\" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual iconSection 1 – the global intellectual property system is privatising humanity’s common cultural heritage

Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, \"Ideology as a Cultural System\" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual icon7 section 1 – the global intellectual property system is privatising humanity’s common cultural heritage

Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, \"Ideology as a Cultural System\" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual iconCultural Identity and Ideology

Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, \"Ideology as a Cultural System\" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual iconFigure Evidence and ideology. Ideology can be applied in any or all of the stages of data gathering, interpretation and decision making

Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, \"Ideology as a Cultural System\" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual iconAnalytical chemistry : a modern approach to analytical science / edited by J. M. Mermet, M

Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, \"Ideology as a Cultural System\" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual icon«issues of multiculturalism and multilingualism in modern education system» April 17 19, 2008 Narva

Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, \"Ideology as a Cultural System\" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual iconCultural Diversity, Democracy and the Prospects of Cosmopolitanism: a theory of Cultural Encounters

Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, \"Ideology as a Cultural System\" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual iconMaster Programme Cultural Economics and Cultural Entrepreneurship

Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, \"Ideology as a Cultural System\" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual iconSection 1: Multicultural, Cross-Cultural, and Cultural Psychology

Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, \"Ideology as a Cultural System\" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual iconB. Historical-critical method Optional: Marshall, New Testament Interpretation 11-18 (modern exegesis) C. Modern situationist and subjectivist hermeneutics

Разместите кнопку на своём сайте:
Библиотека


База данных защищена авторским правом ©lib.znate.ru 2014
обратиться к администрации
Библиотека
Главная страница