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HEIDTMANN VAGHETTI, Helena; COELHO DE SOUZA PADILHA, Maria Itayra  and  CAMARGO MAIA, Ana Rosete. Geertz’s theoretical - methodological teference as an option for studying culture in hospital organizations. Cuad. Adm. [online]. 2006, vol.19, n.32, pp.179-194. ISSN 0120-3592.

This paper covers some basic concepts of anthropology and of interpretive anthropology / hermeneutics. It is based on three books by Clifford Geertz, the main representative of interpretive anthropology: Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology, The Interpretation of Cultures, and Available Light: Anthropological Reflections on Philosophical Topics. Reading those works led to reflecting on the question, is Geertz’s theoretical - methodological reference approach for understanding culture relevant to studying culture in hospital organizations? The authors of this paper consider that, according to Geertz’s thought, studying culture consists of understanding the subjects’ interpretation of their social world and of the kinds of thinking that they observe directly in their experiences built, according to the meaning that they give to shared ethnographical symbols. The authors conclude that this view enables understanding the structure of the relations inside hospital organizations, which, in turn, favors issues regarding workers, management and, consequently, users and the society at large.

Keywords : Organizations; organization and administration; organizational culture; cultural anthropology; culture; hospital administration.

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