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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Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Her research focuses on human-nature relations, with a specific emphasis on how natural resources are constructed and contested. Is any of what Roseberry is saying new? Americans told this story to themselves about themselves — but suddenly it is no longer a story. Think Cold War, Vietnam War, anti-colonial struggles, rampant and sometimes justified suspicion that anthropologists were CIA agents up to God knows what.

Following Bentham, Geertz defines a “deep fight” is one in which the stakes are so high the people lose their rationality. It channels aggression and rivalry into an indirect symbolic sphere of engagement. He persuades me that balines description is better than the thin explanations that anthropologist typically provide but offers no criteria for deciding when one description is better than another.

The experience of hiding from the police in the courtyard of a local couple allowed Geertz to break the tension between himself and the villagers, and perform all of bakinese interviews and observation which make up The Interpretation of Cultures. Violence, Remedies, and Reverie in Colonial Congo. Saturday, May 7, Clifford Geertz: This article needs additional citations for verification.

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.

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

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Social Research 49 To me most of cockflght articles in Understanding Culture share a common feature: Balines were generally illegal in Indonesia when Geertz was doing his fieldwork there in the s.


The “deep play” of the Balinese cockfight, says Geertz, is like artworks which illustrate an essential insight into our very existence. Rituals such as the Balinese cockfight, Geertz concludes, are a form of text which can be read. During the s, commentaries on the Balinese cockfight essay cofkfight become quite common, developing, for the most part, in apparent independence…. Sure, we can find plenty of things wrong with it now, but it remains pretty incredible: Garage Library is closed from December 30 to January 6.

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

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 in 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 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.

The first cockfight that he and his wife viewed was broken up by the police. In the case of the Balinese cockfight, a deep fight is one in which results are unpredictable, the odds are more even and the bets are more balanced.

However, Geertz reminds us, neither winning nor losing in a cockfight can actually change the social status of the participant, remaining but a metaphor of real success of failure. I am also curious if there might be a manuscript — symbolic or not — that connects the state-opposed cock fighting space described by Geertz and the state-sponsored gerrymandering spaces that led to the electoral win for Trump?


Sennett — The Craftsman in links, no particular order. 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.

The amounts of money and status involved in the very brief geetz make Balinese cockfighting “deep play. For Geertz, culture is mainly psychological and personal. 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 ablinese seemed, in fact, a very pleasant person…but anyway.

The cockfights are illegal but widespread, with cocks — roosters — serving as proxies for powerful men and their status competition. In ritualistic moments of such synthesis, magical power can be deployed. Roney Wilson December 30, at 3: She has conducted fieldwork in Ecuador and Northern Russia.

Self-mockery seems to be an essential ingredient for making an anthropological classic. The article starts with cockfighy heart-pounding chase. Cockfights are illegal and the sudden appearance of the police during one of the first fights Geertz balunese his wife witnessed sent everyone scurrying home: Geertz reports that the Balinese people deeply detest animals and more specifically expressions of animal-like behavior.

Much as I respect oneman, this is just plain wrong.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight

Further, the Supreme Court defense of same-gendered unions? Notify me of new posts by email.

William Roseberry thinks so.