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phalangingle in theoryishotcrew

Can I just substitute an interpretive dance in place of a list?

Although I am generally of the opinion that I would never be a member of a club that would have someone like me as a member, I decided to give this a try.

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  1. "Foucault" in "Dictionnaire des philosophes" 1984, - Maurice Florence


  1. Distinction - Bourdieu


  1. El Laberinto de la Soledad - Paz


  1. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life - Goffman


  1. Borderlands/La Frontera - Anzaldua


  1. The Interpretation of Cultures  - Geertz


  1. Aberrations in Black - Ferguson


  1. Ain't I a Woman  - bell hooks


  1. Giving an Account of Oneself - Butler


  1. Selections from the Prison Notebooks - Gramsci

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Re: Softball

In the Cockfight essay, Geertz seems to me to fail to actually contextualize the cockfight within Bali to the extent that his analysis becomes almost meaningless as a way of understanding Balinese culture. Abstracted from it location in society, the cockfight becomes purely aesthetic interpretation but without any real force of reality. Does that make sense? The background seems absent. And it actually seems to me, anyway, to ignore major components of the cultural significance (or evolved cultural significance) of the cockfight instead postulating it as a static thing that can exist out of time. And it isn't necessarily a lack of space to expand, but a purposeful abstraction and objectification of a changeable practice with changeable significance and meaning.

Re: Softball

I agree with most of this, but wouldn't characterize it as meaningless understanding of Balinese culture. It is problematic for Geertz to offer an aesthetic interpretation of the cockfight if his purpose is to describe the mental maps of the participants or to explain their practice. I don't think this is his purpose however. The critique that the interpretation becomes static and that it creates an abstraction and objectification of a changeable practice is valid. But if the purpose of the essay is to locate the Balinese cockfight in the imaginative universe of the cultural codes available in Bali, then the abstraction is not a fatal flaw for the essay. While signification of the cock fight surely means different things to different participants, that its meaning changes over time, and that symbols may be used and understood in differing ways from Geertz, the imaginative universe of symbols and narratives makes possible semiotic practices for (re)constructing the meaning of the cock fight.

The essay does not give us a sense of Bali culture, how the participants describe the cock fight when they are going about their day to day activities, when they are celebrating at a festival and reflecting on the significance of Bali culture, etc. The essay does, however, offer a picture of a wide range of symbols that can serve as semiotic resources.

Re: Softball

The essay does, however, offer a picture of a wide range of symbols that can serve as semiotic resources.

It does, and this is why the essay is referred to in the study of Greek tragedy as a theoretical work as opposed to an actual analysis. As an actual ethnography, though, it fails in many ways.

Re: Softball

Could you perhaps discuss the relationship between Geertz's thick description and Foucault's archaeology? It is obvious that there is one. Where do they differ? Where do they overlap? What is Geertz's purpose in borrowing and yet not borrowing from Foucault in his own methods?

Re: Softball

Do you know Roseberry's critique of Geertz? If so, what do you think of it?

Re: Softball

Ha ha. I wasn't specifically going to bring up Rosenberry, but I mentioned some of the other critiques. The Rosenberry is good.

Re: Softball

I am not familiar with this critique.

Re: Softball

If you search our archives under "applications" you will find a discussion of it on my app.