Perhaps one of the most widely read anthropological essays, “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” by Clifford Geertz is available. “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. clifford geertz: “deep play: notes on the balinese cockfight” summary and review to start form the bottom line, clifford geertz’s essential notion expressed in.

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The first cockfight that he and his wife viewed was broken up by the police. The man could not have been more appropriately named if we were in a medieval morality play and at times it felt like we were.

One thing that I always wonder about the cockfight essay is what Balinese people always think about it. In The Interpretation of Cultures Geertz explicitly contrasts his position that bzlinese are found in public behavior with public meanings to psychological approaches that equate culture with mental models Ward Goodenough or subconscious emotions Culture and Gertz studies influenced by Freudthus making culture invisible or a theoretical artifact created by the observer.

But it also behooves us to think about the consequences in the material reality of such alignment between substance and symbol, cock and cock, man and ideology, Trump and the patriarchy.

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Geertz distinguishes “deep fights”, with high wages, and “shallow fights”, usually with low bzlinese of both gambling and prestige. Based on a large pool of observations and gewrtz, Geertz concludes that the cockfight as a cultural phenomenon offers rich anthropological material for the interpretation of the Balinese society. We ran down the main village street, northward, away from where we were living, for we were on that side of the ring.

To learn that Balinese lose themselves in balinse, which are, at least from one perspective, exemplars of selves they want to be, victors in short, bloody, violent conflicts that elevate status may contribute to our understanding of why Bali, now normally seen as a beautiful tourist trap inhabited by lovely people with an extraordinary level of self-control, was, shortly after WWII, the scene of massacres that killed I need to check the numbers around 80, people.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight

Geertz notices, articulates, and illustrates a conceptual problem then ends with no how-to program for solving the problem he raises. 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.


Except this is not a short story. It is a symbolic manufactured representation of something very balinrse in our social life. He even notes that the wordplay where a cock is both a rooster and a penis exists in Balinese just as it does in English.

That what the cockfight has to say about Bali is not altogether without perception and the disquiet it expresses about the general pattern of Balinese life is not wholly without reason is attested by the fact [what a marvellous example of passive voice and absence of the author] that clckfight two weeks of Decemberduring the upheavals following the unsuccessful coup in Djakarta, between forty and eighty thousand Balinese in a population of about two million were killed, largely by one another—the worst outburst in the country.

The problem is to learn how to read them, not to decipher something else going on behind the scenes. When an archetype is virtually merged with that which it signifies, to the point of word slippage around a homonym, we have critical skills training to acknowledge that a point is being made, and symbolically exaggerated, for effect.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. How does the Balinese cockfight, in conversation with the effectiveness of symbols, relate to, explain, or otherwise incorporate the popularity and role of Michelle Obama in the Obama presidency?

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Clifford Geertz

This is what actually happened in this election. For the local population, cockfighting is also an instrument of self-analysis and a way of presenting their culture to the outsiders. Social tensions are represented through the cockfight, but after all, it’s just a cockfight. The election has illuminated our gewrtz pecking order.

Think Cold War, Vietnam War, anti-colonial struggles, rampant and sometimes justified suspicion that anthropologists were CIA agents up to God knows what. Although gambling is a major and central part of the Balinese cockfight, Geertz argues that what is at stake is much more fundamental than just money, namely, prestige and status.

I find it particularly troubling that 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 context. Violence, Remedies, and Reverie in Colonial Balinnese.


Cultural Reader: Clifford Geertz: “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” – summary and review

Not only was he there, but he was embraced by the members of the society who loved his clumsy ways. In ritualistic moments of such synthesis, magical power can be deployed. Works cited in this post: Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. This story serves two purposes: Notes on 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 clckfight by the anthropologist.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Clifford Geertz

Newer Post Older Post Home. 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. Bqlinese actual cockfight is a human competition, delegated to animals, where the winner gets respect and admiration from the nalinese, while money although Geertz does describe the complex betting system in great detail is secondary. However the fight, according to Geertz, is not between individuals but is rather a simulation of the social structure of kinship and social groups.

It is a society’s manner of speaking to itself about itself, and is therefore of prime interest for the anthropologist. Accessed December 31, Considered Geertz’s most seminal work, the essay addresses the meaning of cockfighting in Balinese culture.

Doing fieldwork in Taiwan in those years meant, among other things, being constantly aware that certain topics were off-limits. Geertz was one of the most influential figures in symbolic and interpretive anthropology.

The amounts of money and status involved in the very brief cockfights make Balinese cockfighting “deep play. It seems important to remember that Geertz was himself baalinese under Talcott Parsons, and that Interpretation of Culture was the big break with that tradition Religion of Java being pretty different.

Retrieved December 31,from Somatosphere Web site: Alsia timon February 8, at

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