Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight Clifford Geertz

There is nothing specifically Balinese, of course, about deepening significance with money, as Whyte's description of corner boys in a working-class district of Boston demonstrates: "Gambling plays an important role in the lives of Cornerville people.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight - Wikipedia

has noted in the text that Bali is "a well studied" place. Manyethnographers have conducted diverse studies on the people as well as theculture of Bali. The literature on other forms of social and cultural functionsis enormous. Notable among them is the "Balinese Character" by G. and M. Mead. In this particular work, variousaspects of the Balinese culture and traditions are explained including veryextensive pictorial illustrations. This work was published in the U.S. in 1942,long before visit to Bali in 1958; and yet, elected to interpret only the cockfights (cocks& men) as the central event in the total Balinese culture. Yes, there arecockfights in Bali, but there are also other social events and rituals whichdominate the lives and the ways of the Balinese people. In Bali, there is timefor cockfights, and time for trances; there is also time for marriages, andtime for burning the remains of the dead (cremation). of these functions is carried out with the vigils of the masses. But this isnot the Bali seems to be presenting in"Deep Play" to his readers. wants usto believe that much of America surfaces ina ball park, on a golf links, at a race track, or around a poker table, much ofBali surfaces only in a cock ring." The irony here is that was able to easily see much of America in a lot ofother "Deep Plays" (this in effect portraying the "culturalus" point of view); but for the Balinese, their lives evolve only aroundcockfights (the cultural them).


Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight | Thinking …

,in my reading him, does not see the similarities surrounding the cockfights inBali and other Deep Plays like the Horse Racein Italy, the Bull Chase in Spain, or the Kentucky Derby in the U.S. To putthem on equal plane, they all involve rallying of the masses and the engagementinto all forms of pre-game festivities. The main to do with the testing of the strengths of animals.


Clifford Geertz – “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight”

study wasn't done unobtrusively. The methodology was rather a participantobservation. He states in the text that the Balinese villagers were fully awareof who they were, and what their mission was in Bali from the onset. There arenumerous problems one can anticipate in this kind of qualitative ethnographicapproach. Paramount among them is what has become known as the HawthorneEffect. This is the situation in which the presence of the researcher among thesubjects under study affects the attitude or behavior of the group, thusaltering the outcome of the study. Other types of these problems are referredto as "internal validity" (Emerson, 1983). Elijah Anderson, in hiswork "A Place on the Corner" indicates that while doing his fieldobservations, he noticed that many a time, his presence among his studysubjects affected their behavior especially when his personality and demeanorcould be easily contrasted by anyone in the environment. The people in andaround the bar (his main setting) get more animated whenever he showed up atthe "joint"; in essence, behaviors get played out, more dogfightplays are exhibited among the group, and explanations to certain traditions getoverstated. In the process of "getting into" the new culture, onecannot take things for granted. Everything must be taken seriously until clearpatterns begin to form and categories emerge from the observation. Thesepatterns must be meanings assigned to themand thus begins the groundwork for the whole coding process (Anderson, 1978).

Deep play: notes on a balinese cockfight by clifford geertz


Arrived in Bali in Early April of 1958, funded by the Bali government
It was a small village of around 500 and secluded
Balinese way: Ignoring intruders
Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight
Clifford Geertz
Clifford Geertz
Born August 23rd, 1926
Died October 30th, 2006
He was an American cultural anthropologist
Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight
Published in 1973
Part of a larger work,
The Interpretations of Cultures

Field work actually took place in 1958
The Balinese Cockfight
An Outline
Clifford wanted to become a journalist and novelist
When WWII broke out he decided to join the Navy
Served for 2 years (1943-45)
Enrolled in Antioch College, Ohio where he received his A.B in 1950 with a major in philosophy
Got married and along with his wife was accepted into Harvard
Brooke Drover
He was working on this field work while under his fellowship at University of California, Berkeley (1958-60)
Beginning Fieldwork
The Raid
Of Cocks and Men
The Fight
Odds and Even Money
Playing with Fire
Theories Involved
Conclusion
"For them, and to a degree for ourselves, we were nonpersons, spectators, invisible men."
10 days after arriving a large cockfight was held in the public square to raise money for a new school
Cockfights are illegal
Fear of radical nationalism
Countries goals of the time was generating a more socially appropriate nation
As a result of laws cockfights typically in hiding
This specific fight was held in the central square to draw a larger crowd and raise more money
People under the impression bribes had been paid
Fight was orchestrated by chief of community
The Raid
In the third match, with hundreds of spectators, police came to break up the crowd
Geertz refers to crowd as a "superorganism"
The superorganism "came instantly apart as components scattered in all directions"
Geertz and wife took refuge in the courtyard of another fleeing
A police officer came to the yard looking for the chief
Rather than Geertz and his wife explain their position in the village, they lied with the locals and said they had been sipping tea all afternoon with the couple
This was a crucial moment in the research.