In the midst of the third match, with hundreds of people, including, still transparent, myself and my wife, fused into a single body around the ring, a superorganism in the literal sense, a truck full of policemen armed with machine guns roared up. Slightly above these people in standing are those who, though they do not themselves fight cocks, bet on the smaller matches around the edges. These are all valid questions to ask yourself, but they are not relevant questions for this section. What Clifford is trying to prove in this example is that negligence is the same in both outcomes because the. This culture is one of the changes brought about by a changing society, which is moving away from its traditional culture to a more modernized approach. Or, more exactly, he forms and discovers a particular facet of them. For the anthropologist, whose concern is with formulating sociological principles, not with promoting or appreciating cockfights, the question is, what does one learn about such principles from examining culture as an assemblage of texts? The types are coordinated with various cosmological ideas which help shape the making of matches, so that, for example, you fight a small, headstrong, speckled brown-on-white cock with flat-lying feathers and thin legs from the east side of the ring on a certain day of the complex Balinese calendar, and a large, cautious, all-black cock with tufted feathers and stubby legs from the north side on another day, and so on.
We had a perfect right to be there, he said, looking the Javanese upstart in the eye. Balinese cockfighting is indeed a very interesting kind of performance. Participants are competing for reputation among their people rather than actual money, which is somewhat difficult to come by. One has only to learn how to gain access to them. Occasionally, if the cocks are clearly mismatched, there may be no upward movement at all, or even movement down the scale to four-to-three, three-to-two, very, very rarely to two-to-one, a shift which is accompanied by a declining number of bets as a shift upward is accompanied by an increasing number. As much of America surfaces in a ball park, on a golf links, at a race track, or around a poker table, much of Bali surfaces in a cock ring. We were American professors; the government had cleared us; we were there to study culture; we were going to write a book to tell Americans about Bali.
Two fingers in a six-to-five situation means a man wants to wager ten ringgits on the underdog against twelve, three in an eight-to-seven situation, twenty-one against twenty-four, and so on. Given the difficulty of making precise and complete recordings of side betting, this argument is hard to cast in numerical form, but in all my cases the odds-giver, odds-taker consensual point, a quite pronounced mini-max saddle where the bulk at a guess, twothirds to three-quarters in most cases of the bets are actually made, was three or four points further along the scale toward the shorter end for the large-center-bet fights than for the small ones, with medium ones generally in between. Geertz argues that religion is based solely on the concepts of symbols and the impacts that symbols have on the practitioners of the religion. As a result, the Balinese were forced to contend with the government and its supporters for the definition of their own reality, of what it meant to be Balinese, rather than what they were told it meant to be Balinese. I mean, of course, the gambling.
Dædalus draws on the enormous intellectual capacity of the American Academy, whose Fellows are among the nation's most prominent thinkers in the arts, sciences, and the humanities, as well as the full range of professions and public life. Inverse arguments hold for the shallower the fight, culminating, in a reversed-signs sense, in the coin-spinning and dice-throwing amusements. He seems to have no conception nor any interest whatsoever in the history of mass suicide in battle nor in the stultifying divisions of caste that haunt Balinese society within the wider tragedies of Indonesian history. The interpretatio naturae tradition of the middle ages, which, culminating in Spinoza, attempted to read nature as Scripture, the Nietzschean effort to treat value systems as glosses on the will to power or the Marxian one to treat them as glosses on property relations , and the Freudian replacement of the enigmatic text of the manifest dream with the plain one of the latent, all offer precedents, if not equally recommendable ones. Rather than staying at the cockfight as an observer, outside the boundaries of their law, he decided to run with the villagers. The best discussion of cockfighting is again Bateson and Mead Balinese Character, pp. The center bet must be advanced in cash by both parties prior to the actual fight.
It forced them into an identity, created to both silence them and profit from them; one that dictated which parts of their own culture were worth preserving and attempted to force them to abandon ones that did not fit in this ideal, even if they still held meaning. In a large-bet fight the pressure to make the match a genuinely fifty-fifty proposition is enormous, and is consciously felt as such. The logic is similar in both cases. . Words: 6558 - Pages: 27. However the fight, according to Geertz, is not between individuals but is rather a simulation of the social structure of kinship and social groups. In order for Geertz as an anthropologist to have a real understanding of the Balinese not only had to be an observer but at the same time a.
These are very useful for focusing your attention on the main points of the article. Instead, he suggests a more limited though defined and coherent view of culture as that which lends meaning to all social expression, which to an outsider, on the surface, may appear unfathomable. The real, as Geertz referred to it, is a reality constructed by the Balinese to maintain the traditions that are important, to challenge the institution that confined them, and afforded themselves an opportunity to grow as a society. Establishing rapport and acceptance with research subjects is an essential element of participant observation, enabling an anthropologist to effectively observe behaviour and record information Bernard, 2006:344. In the dozens of cockfights I saw in Bali, I never once saw an altercation about rules. The basic assumptions of Symbolic Interactionism are 1 beliefs, however intelligible, become comprehensible when understood as part of a cultural system of meaning, 2 actions are guided by interpretation, allowing symbolism to aid in interpreting ideal as well as material activities, and 3 culture is an independent system of meaning deciphered by interpreting key symbols and rituals. The actual cockfight is a human competition, delegated to animals, where the winner gets respect and admiration from the others, while money although Geertz does describe the complex betting system in great detail is secondary.
Through this, Geertz defends then the centrality of cockfights as of now, that is, the function that they accomplish in the Balinese society further than moneymaking or preserving a tradition. The fingers indicate the multiples of the stated bet odds at issue, not absolute figures. During a large public cockfight Geertz finally gets his chance to prove himself to the villagers when police came to break up the event. It is at stake symbolically, for a few cases of ruined addict gamblers aside no one's status is actually altered by the outcome of a cockfight; it is only, and that momentarily, affirmed or insulted. It is a society's manner of speaking to itself about itself, and is therefore of prime interest for the anthropologist.
They are dramatic affairs which involve elaborate processes of subterfuge. Even falling down or any form of clumsiness is considered to be bad for these reasons. A peculiar fusion of Polynesian title ranks and Hindu castes, the hierarchy of pride is the moral backbone of the society. Fuller, The Morality of Law New Haven, 1964 , p. There are several characteristics of play.