Impact and Influence Today
Some 40 years after its initial publication, Clifford Geertz's The Interpretation of Cultures has become part of a "sacred canon". Today, it forms part of the essential reading list for anyone interested in interpretive approaches in the social sciences and humanities. Scholars generally agree that they need to complement the Geertzian concept of culture with additional research looking at wider political, economic, social, and historical conditions. But the relevance of The Interpretation of Cultures has not diminished. The discipline has widely adopted Geertz's so-called "interpretive turn". To this day it remains the approach taken by many cultural and social anthropologists. Historians, sociologists, political scientists, and scholars of other disciplines who collect ethnographic data in their research projects also use Geertz's approach. They argue that Geertz's classic definition of what culture is has proven less and less relevant to the modern world.