• June 13, 2019

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. “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. Perhaps one of the most widely read anthropological essays, “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” by Clifford Geertz is available.

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However, Geertz reminds us, neither winning nor losing in a cockfight can actually balinees the social status of the participant, remaining but a metaphor of real success of failure. However, they have a deep identification with their cocks yes, with their cocks and “in notess with his cock, the Balinese man is identifying not only with his ideal self, or even his penis, but also, cockfightt at the same time, with what he most fears, hates, and ambivalence being what it is, is fascinated by- the powers of darkness”.

We look forward to seeing you from January 2. Just like in the West, the cock in Bali symbolizes masculinity, and the rules of cockfights in every village are passed down through generations along with other legal traditions.

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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. 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 heertz balanced.

From this perspective, what makes a cockfight deep is not the gambling that takes place in the inner circle, nor bxlinese one of the outer circle, ddeep the changes mediated by the circulation of money.

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.

Saturday, May 7, Clifford Geertz: Based on a notess 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.


In his article, Clifford Geertz explores the Balinese society through a central element of its cultural life — cockfight – seen from the perspective of the outsider who has to prove his loyalty before being acknowledged as a physical presence. Unlike osme of the more recent commentaries, this essay is directed at a more political understanding of culture.

The idea of culture as a set of symbols that we share back and forth seems almost custom-designed to avoid the kinds of political economic analysis Rola and myself would like to see. This site uses cookies. Notes on the Bakinese Cockfight” is that a people’s culture is an ensemble of rituals which are in themselves ensembles, and these texts are what the anthropologist is trying to decipher.

This explains to some extent the rules behind a cockfight, particularly the fact that the winner is obliged to take the carcass of the dead cock and cook it for his family. More Geertz online at HyperGeertz. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. 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.

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. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here The last half of the essay describes the rituals of betting and concludes that the cockfight is the Balinese comment on themselves, as it embodies the network of social relationships in kin and village that govern traditional Balinese life.

Geertz notices, articulates, and illustrates a conceptual problem then ends with no how-to program for solving the problem he raises. Geertz distinguishes “deep fights”, with high wages, and “shallow fights”, usually with low wages of both gambling and prestige.


Other than the phenomenon balniese Hell Houses, the West is bereft whatsoever of significant high stake ventures. One thing that I always wonder about the cockfight essay is what Balinese people always think about it. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: The first cockfight that he and his wife viewed was broken up by the police. Garage Library is closed from December 30 to January 6.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight – Wikipedia

Geertz is therefore as much as an objective observer as one could be, a fact that allows him to notice the subtleties involved in this Balinese pastime and its impact on both the performers and the audience. Cockfighting is a fight for statues, with bets serving only to symbolize the risk.

The amounts of money and status involved in the very brief cockfights make Balinese cockfighting “deep play. For example, women and young and socially disadvantaged people are gertz allowed to attend cockfights, while the main players are the most respected and politically involved members of the community.

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Clifford Geertz – “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” | Alexandru Thinks Theater

In Taiwan, when Ruth and I were doing fieldwork inthe heertz thing we did when arriving in Puli was report to the foreign affairs policeman who seemed, in fact, a very pleasant person…but anyway.

Notes on the Balinese Cockfight Might interest you: ANd, of course the fact that we can still thd a pretty hearty discussion suggests that the issues raised by Geertz around the time I was born are still far from totally settled. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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.