From the Native's Point of View

Geertz, Clifford 1983. Local knowledge: Further essays in interpretive anthropology. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

If we are going to cling - as, in my opinion, we must - to the injunction to see things from the native's point of view, where are we when we can no longer claim some unique form of psychological closeness, a sort of transcultural identification, with our subjects? What happens to verstehen when einfühlen disappears? (Geertz 1983: 56)
Mis saab mõistmisest kui empaatia kaob? (Küsimus on paradoksaalne, sest verstehen on inglisekeelse määratluse järgi "emphatic understanding of human behavior").
An experience-near concept is, roughly, one that someone - a patient, a subject, in our case an informant - might himself naturally and effortlessly use to define what he or his fellows see, feel, think, imagine, and so on, and which he would readily understand when similarly applied by others An experience-distant concept is one that specialists of one sort or another - an analyst, an experimenter, an ethnographer, even a priest or an ideologist - employ to forward their scientific, philosophical, or practical aims. (Geertz 1983: 57)
Oma tagasihoidliku "etnosemantilise" uurimuse juures olen samasuguse probleemiga kohakuti: kas kasutada uuritava keelt metatasandil või oma metakeelt. Praegu üritan piirduda esimestega, et mu uurimus oleks paremini mõistetav. Raskestimõistetavaid mõisteid võib alati sisse tuua, aga on tore kui saab ilma hakkama.
Confinement to experience-near concepts leaves an ethnographer awash in immediacies, as well as entangled in vernacular. Confinement to experience-distant ones leaves him stranded in abstractions and smothered in jargon. (Geertz 1983: 57)
I'm even considering getting entangled in vernacular to the degree of becoming stranded in abstractions. That's why my study will ultimately be an artistic text rather than a respectable study.
The Western conception of the person as a bounded, unique, more or less integration motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment, and action organizedd into a distinctive whole and set contrastively both against other such wholes and against its social and natural background, is, however incorrigible it may seem to us, a rather peculiar idea within the context of the world's cultures. (Geertz 1983: 59)
Exactly why the absence of the concept of self in buddhism, for example, is so baffling.
The "inside"/"outside" words, batin and lair (terms borrowed, as a matter of fact, from the Sufi tradition of Muslim mysticism, but locally reworked) refer on the one hand to the felt realm of human experience and on the other to the observed realm of human behavior. These have, one hastens to say, nothing to do with "soul" and "body" in our sense, for which there are in fact quite other words with quite other implications. Batin, the "inside" word, does not refer to a separate seat of encapsulated spirituality detached or detachable from the body, or indeed to a bounded unit at all, but to the emotional life of human beings taken generally. It consists of the fuzzy, shifting flow of subjective feeling perceived directly in all its phenomenological immediacy but considered to be, at its roots at least, identical across all individuals, whose individuality it thus effaces. And similarly, lair, the "outside" word, has nothing to do with the body as an object, even an experienced object. Rather, it refers to that part of human life which, in our culture, strict behaviorists limit themselves to studying - external actions, movements, postures, speect - again conceived as in its essence invariant from one individual to the next. These two sets of phenomena - inward feelings and outward actions - are then regarded not as functions of one another but as independent realms of being to be put in proper order independently. (Geertz 1983: 60-61)
These terms are actually quite serviceable. It is even possible that searching for the concept of lair could lead to Islamic interpretations or theories of nonverbal behavior. It may be useful by beginning with an essay on sufism.
In the outer realm, it is to be achieved through etiquette, the rules of which here are not only extraordinarily elaborate but have something of the force of law. Through meditation the civilized man thins out his emotional life to a kind of constant hum; through etiquette, he both shields that life from external disruptions and regurarizes his outer behavior in such a way that it appears to others as a predictable, undisturbing, elegant, and rather vacant set of choreographed motions and settled forms of speech. (Geertz 1983: 61)
Actually quite important for my theory of self-regulation.


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