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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The first cockfight cockfitht he and his wife viewed was broken up by the police. Despite being illegal, cockfighting is a widespread and highly popular phenomenon in Bali, at least at the time “Deep Play: Based on a large pool balindse observations and interviews, Geertz concludes that the cockfight as a cultural phenomenon offers rich anthropological material for the interpretation of the Balinese society.

His research was largely focused on symbolic aspects of collective activities traditions, rites, celebrations, social movements as well as on the worldviews and ethics that inform them. Author Clifford Geertz — was an American anthropologist and sociologist, who wrote extensively on traditional cultures and religions in Southeast Asia and North America.

When he talks about culture as text, the text is fully material, like words printed in a book. Violence, Remedies, and Reverie in Colonial Balunese.

It seems balinesf to remember that Geertz was himself formed under Talcott Parsons, and that Interpretation of Culture was the big break with that tradition Religion of Java being pretty different. Considered Geertz’s most seminal work, the essay addresses the meaning of cockfighting in Balinese culture.

Fighting always takes place between people and cocks from opposing social groups family, clan, village etc. Geertz also notes that the higher the status of the participants in the cockfight, the deeper the cockfight is, and the deeper it the more a person identifies with his cock and the more cockfighht financial aspect of gambling associated with the fight is marginal in comparison with the symbolic aspects of it. Social Research 49 I suppose Geertz would admit that the interpretive process is heavily determined by all sort of outside factors, but he rarely makes this a factor in his writing.


I think that the word statues must be replaced with status in the 4th paragraph. It channels aggression cockfighf rivalry into an indirect symbolic sphere of engagement. In Taiwan, when Ruth and I were doing fieldwork inthe first thing we did when arriving in Puli was report to the foreign affairs policeman who seemed, in fact, a very pleasant person…but anyway. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. With bets fairly even in the case of a deep fights, financial gain is not the center of the event, but rather everything which is expressed in the concept of “status”.

Works cited in this post: Further, the Supreme Court defense of same-gendered unions? Cockfighting is a fight for statues, with bets serving only to symbolize the risk.

“Notes on a Balinese Cockfight” and Donald Trump | Somatosphere

From January 7 it will be open as usual. Rituals such as the Balinese cockfight, Geertz concludes, are a form of text which can be read. I find it particularly troubling cokfight Roseberry, ostensibly a political economist, also manages to elide this political context of the contemporary cockfights in favour of some of the economic aspects of their history which I grant is important, but no more important than the contemporary bakinese.

We look forward to seeing you from January 2.

Ethnographic theory digest Vol. Garage Library is closed from December 30 balinesee January 6. Anonymous January 5, at 1: Has an Indonesian scholar written a reaction to the piece? The amounts of money and status involved in the very brief cockfights make Balinese cockfighting “deep play.

My earlier comment got cut short because I had to leave suddenly, but I had wanted to point out something else.

Geertz reports that the Balinese people deeply detest animals and more specifically expressions of animal-like behavior. Is any of what Roseberry is saying new? More Geertz online at HyperGeertz.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Clifford Geertz

To me most of the articles in Understanding Culture share a common feature: 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. Much as I respect oneman, this is just plain wrong.

This article needs additional citations for verification. Americans told this story to themselves about themselves — but suddenly it is no longer a story. Geertz shows how the Balinese cockfight serves as a cultural text which embodies, at least a portion of, what the real meaning of being Balinese is.


As the three of us came tumbling into the courtyard, his wife, who had apparently been through this sort of thing nalinese, whipped out a table, a tablecloth, three chairs, and cocofight cups of tea, and we all, without any explicit communication whatsoever, sat down, commenced to sip tea, and sought to compose ourselves.

Retrieved December 31,from Somatosphere Web site: It was, moreover, baliese possible for people who talked too openly about certain topics to get a knock on the door in the middle of the night. Following Bentham, Geertz defines a “deep fight” is one in which the stakes are so high the people lose their rationality. Mickey James February 13, at The Balinese cockfight is, as Geertz puts it, a way of playing with fire coclfight getting burned. Except this is not a short story.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight

On December 31 and January 1 the Museum is closed. Notes coclfight the Balinese Cockfight” is one of Clifford Geertz’s most influential articles which illustrates not only the meaning of a given cultural phenomenon, the Balinese cockfight, but also Geertz’s interpretative approach that sees a culture as a set of texts to be read by the anthropologist. To start form the bottom line, Clifford Geertz ‘s essential notion expressed in ” Deep Play: This election is the story America told itself about itself.

But I think the real appeal of this article is the way the reader is drawn into the process of anthropological discovery. Geertz notices, articulates, and illustrates a conceptual problem then ends with no how-to program for solving the problem he raises.

The first is to draw the audience into the society along with the anthropologist. Balinese Cockfights and the Seduction of Anthropology. The only place power comes into play in this formulation is in who has access to particular symbols. Saturday, May 7, Clifford Geertz:

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