Perhaps one of the most widely read anthropological essays, “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” by Clifford Geertz is available. Shortly after the election, I taught “Notes on a Balinese Cockfight” to my Anthropological Theory class, as I always do, at that point in the. “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” is one of Clifford Geertz’s most influential articles which illustrates not only the meaning of a given.
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For Geertz, culture is mainly psychological and personal.
Notify me of new posts by email. The actual cockfight is a human competition, delegated to animals, where the winner gets respect and admiration from the others, while money although Geertz does describe the complex betting dockfight in great detail is secondary. Author Cockfiht Geertz — was an American anthropologist and sociologist, who wrote extensively on traditional cultures and religions in Southeast Asia and North America.
So, the election then becomes not just a story America told itself about itself — but also a story about how America tells itself stories about itself, which lenses it reaches for, which interpretive framework it relegates to the footnotes. Views Read Edit View history. Violence, Remedies, and Reverie in Colonial Congo.
It was, moreover, still possible for people who talked too openly about certain topics to get a knock on the door in the middle of the night.
The cockfights are illegal but widespread, with cocks — roosters — serving as proxies for powerful men and their status competition.
Her research focuses on human-nature relations, with a specific emphasis on how natural resources are constructed and contested.
Unlike osme of the more recent commentaries, this essay is ballnese at a more political understanding of culture. Doing fieldwork in Taiwan in those years meant, among other things, being constantly aware that certain topics were off-limits.
Anthro Classics Online: Geertz’s Notes on the Balinese Cockfight | Savage Minds
Self-mockery seems to be an essential ingredient for making an anthropological classic. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Works cited in this post: Based on a large pool of observations and interviews, Geertz concludes that the cockfight as a cultural phenomenon offers rich anthropological material for the interpretation of the Balinese society. The essay describes how cocks are taken to stand in for powerful men in the villages, and notes that even the double-entendre sense of the word “cock” exists in the Balinese language as much as in English.
Deep Play is a study of the Balinese tradition of cockfighting, based on a year of anthropological research conducted by Geertz at the end of the s, when he and his wife lived in Bali, attending the illegal but very popular cockfights and interviewing people involved in them. Garage Library is closed from December 30 to January 6. Notes on the Balinese Cockfight. He persuades me that thick description is better than the thin explanations that anthropologist typically provide but offers no criteria for deciding when one description is better than another.
Alsia timon February 8, at Retrieved from ” https: Geertz distinguishes “deep fights”, with high wages, and “shallow fights”, usually with low wages of both gambling and prestige. The “deep play” of the Balinese cockfight, says Geertz, is like artworks which illustrate an essential insight into our very existence. The title of the essay is explained as a concept of British philosopher Jeremy Bentham —who defines “deep play” as a game with stakes so high that no rational person would engage in it.
Saturday, May 7, Clifford Geertz: On December 31 and January 1 the Museum is closed. Anonymous January 5, at 1: Jones Methews March 13, at 4: Despite being illegal, cockfighting is a widespread and highly popular phenomenon in Bali, at least at the time “Deep Play: The problem is to learn how to read them, not to decipher something else going on behind the scenes.
The article starts with a heart-pounding chase. However the fight, according to Geertz, is not between individuals but is rather a simulation of the social structure of kinship and social groups.
Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Clifford Geertz
About half-way down another fugitive ducked suddenly into a compound-his own, it turned out-and we, seeing nothing ahead of us but rice fields, open country, and a very high volcano, followed him. If the narrative of this election were written as a short story, with actual events and quotes worked into the plot, an English class somewhere would analyze it as a feminist commentary — where the sexism of mainstream society is made visible through ongoing instances of explicit phallocentrism.
It channels aggression and rivalry into an indirect symbolic sphere of engagement.
Rituals such as the Balinese cockfight, Geertz concludes, are a form of text which can be read. Following Bentham, Geertz defines a cocfkight fight” is one in which the stakes are so high the people lose their rationality.
Ethnographic theory digest Vol. The amounts of money and status involved in the very brief cockfights make Balinese cockfighting “deep play.
In some ways Geertz is one of the most well known anthropologists outside of the discipline, but my sense is that his influence within the discipline fockfight has waned.
Just like in the Balinese cockfight, symbolic, or at least proxy fighting, has real-world consequences in terms of financial stakes and recognition of status. Subscribe to our mailing list and get the latest news from Garage. State Department employees are fearful that they are being targeted for work on gender related staffing, programming, and funding.
The native is not the only one affected by this context. But it is a momentary gain or lost, the statues is only gained or lost momentarily following the fight but is maintained in the long run, with cockfights assisting in making sure of that.