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.

Author: Faern Akinozilkree
Country: Dominica
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Career
Published (Last): 7 July 2015
Pages: 343
PDF File Size: 2.86 Mb
ePub File Size: 6.43 Mb
ISBN: 337-7-66980-680-1
Downloads: 15005
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Goltigal

Then, in the timeline of the history of anthropological thought, we consider the idea of culture as a manuscript, a palimpsest of layered stories, endlessly rich in meaning — stories that work both like horcruxes, where the soul of the culture is encoded, and as mirrors, reflecting how life is lived back to the ones that live it. The cockfights are illegal but widespread, with cocks — roosters — serving as proxies for powerful men and their status competition. Yes, he writes about cocks exactly for the reason you think.

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.

Intellectuals have an interesting critical relationship with archetypes, especially when they appear as instances of synecdoche — they are such concentrated semiotic clusters that when they are intentionally deployed in fiction, we are taught to read them as cokfight.

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. 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.


Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight

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. They would write in the conclusion that through these explicit, and perhaps hyperbolic examples, the author aims to make visible the underlying sexism of our political discourse and praxis. Except this is not a short story.

This is not hyperbole. This is what actually happened in this election. The cockfigt are both symbolic and real. This election is the story America told itself about balinesee. 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 cockfiight it reaches for, which interpretive framework it relegates to the footnotes.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Clifford Geertz

In ritualistic moments of such synthesis, magical power can be deployed. 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.

The effectiveness of symbols is not only for the kind of shamanic healing Levi-Strauss describes — it is also for undoing the material infrastructure and fabric of reality, particularly its fraught and contested patches. Americans told this story to themselves about themselves — but suddenly it is no longer a story. On the second day of Congress reconvening, two weeks out from the inauguration, Republican lawmakers have already initiated a push to defund Planned Parenthood.

State Department employees are fearful that they are being targeted for work on gender related staffing, programming, and funding. Just like in the Balinese cockfight, symbolic, or at least proxy fighting, has real-world nalinese in terms of financial stakes and recognition of status. The election has illuminated our cultural pecking order. A man who admits to and brags cockfighf sexual assault is about to be inaugurated instead of a woman widely considered the most qualified presidential candidate in history.


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

Notes cockfigght the Balinese cockfight. Her research focuses on human-nature relations, with a specific emphasis on how natural resources are constructed and contested. She has conducted fieldwork in Ecuador and Northern Russia. She co-edits the journal Laboratorium: 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?

Further, the Supreme Court defense of same-gendered unions? 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? Ethnographic theory digest Vol.

Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me cockright new posts by email. Violence, Remedies, and Reverie in Colonial Congo.

Material as opposed to what? Accessed December 31, Retrieved December 31,from Somatosphere Web site: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.