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Clifford Geertz Deep at Work in Bali By definition anthropology is the study of humanity and of human culture The aim of anthropology is the focus on all aspects of human physical social and cultural life and is illustrated in Clifford Geertzs essay Deep Play Notes on the Balinese Cockfight In his essay Geertz is giving the reader an insiders view of an integral aspect of the Balinese society and attempts to describe this dynamic to a foreigner as completely as possible Geertz is specifically concerned with the meaning and interpretation of the cockfight Through each section of the essay Geertz depicts how anthropologists work The Raid Considered one of the most important aspects to the work of anthropologists is how the people in the target accept them Geertz and his wife must live among the Balinese people and engage in everyday activities of the natives Geertz discusses the initial difficulty of entering the Balinese village they acted as if we simply did not exist which in fact we did not or anyway not yet 306 Geertzs first encounter with a cockfight happened ten days after his arrival which started his initiation into the close-knit community Because he had fled the illegal fight raided by the police along with the other spectators the Balinese people now welcomed Geertz into their fold It was the turning point so far as our relationship to the community was concerned and we were quite literally in 308 The benefit of this experience was expressed in the following statement It led to a sudden and unusually complete acceptance into a society extremely difficult for outsiders to penetrate 309 Of Cocks and Men After discovering one of the keys that unlocks the Balinese society Geertz focuses his research on this interesting way of life Geertz gathers his information mainly through observing cockfights He chooses this event to study because much of Bali surfaces in a cock ring 309
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