Stangeness And Depth : Deep play : Notes on the Balinese cockfight, by
Geertz and his wife were not including within Balinese society until they experienced an important aspect of their culture
- Objectivity in the sense that culture is public trying to understand meaning, cock fighting is a metaphor of Balinese culture
- MEANING is important
--> still was an important part of the social context and communication in the society;
--> everything is compared to these cockfights.
--> different kinds of matches, the most “intense” he calls deep fights, in which the odds are almost 1 to 1 (the deeper the match, the better the match up).
--> unwritten rules about betting if your family member has a cock, or if it is an away match, or if you should bet or not.
--> This cockfighting will bring the participant more net pain than net pleasure. The deeper the match the more money, esteem=, honor, dignity, respect, status is at stake. (for exacts on the deep match implications see reading page 77.) “ the cockfight is a means of expression ; its function is neither to assuage social passions nor to heighten them (...) but (...) to display them”. “it is not an imitation of the punctuations of balance life but an example of it”.
--> basically a way to get all the jealousy, envy, and brutality out.
--> Thrill of risk, the despair of loss, the pleasure of triumph= it is of these emotions that society is built and individuals put together.
Ways of Anthropological knowing: Introduction : Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage, by
only by experiencing the death of his wife could he understand the emotions of the people he was observing (Grief and the Head Hunter’s Rage)
- critique of the way anthropologists do their work. - - to understand fully another people one must first be submerged in the culture and be aware of everything but also have no expectation.
- He argues that in order to be successful at understanding the complexities of other societies on must also be in the same mindset.
- The example he uses is Headhunters in a tribe (Ilongots) who kill and cut of the head of other human beings after suffering a loss. Rosaldo says he did not understand how the feeling of grief could create such rage, it was only after losing his wife that he realized how the grief could turn into rage and anger.
- Thus, the deepest things are not always the hardest but sometimes actually the simplest. And knowledge is simple; death does not need kin structure or empirical data to be understood, the simplicity of the experience is what is needed.
- He also talks widely about ritual and how anthropologists have studied the ritual of burial and death and that that is not the way to think of ritual, ritual may hide something deeper. “most anthropological studies eliminate emotions by assuming the position of the most detached observer”. “Rituals do not always encapsulate deep cultural wisdom.” “rituals are often but points along a number of longer processual trajectories.” “The truth of objectivism has lost its monopoly status.” “Social analysis must now grapple with the realization that its objects of analysis are also analyzing subjects who critically interrogate ethnographers.”
On Alternating Sounds, by
- The anthropologists didn’t understand primitive languages
- He is criticizing the way biologists viewed themselves as superior solely because they didn’t understand
- concludes that the phenomena of sound-blindness and “alternating sounds” originate by “alternating apperception”. So it really does matter where you come from to grasp and reproduce certain sounds you hear, thus having nothing to do with different race’s intelligence, or lack thereof.
- phenomenon similar to color blindness known as “sound blindness.”
- He says that some individuals based on where they come from, that is their culture and base language, will not be able to see the differences in sounds from another language, or even their own.
- This is because we may fail to perceive the peculiar character of each phonetic element.
-“The longer the interval the more readily one stimulus is mistaken for another similar one, or the longer the interval the greater the probability that a stimulus considerably differing from the original one is mistaken for the same.”
- Talks about the eskimo U vs O, or C vs S. Or in children the word fan.
- He concludes that the phenomena of sound-blindness and “alternating sounds” originate by “alternating apperception”. So it really does matter where you come from to grasp and reproduce certain sounds you hear, thus having nothing to do with different race’s intelligence, or lack thereof.
Coming of Age in Samoa, by
How we sexualize gender roles is viewed completely differently in other cultures
- This Introduction starts talking about how we (“easterner”) educate our children and about all the studies that have been done to understand our way of education.
-Then Mead goes on to say that we are doing it wrong. Our experiments are not controlled like in chem or physics or even economy. There are too many factors at hand in the education of a child.
- She argues the best way to study this is the anthropological way. It should be noted she states that we think all adolescents have troubles. She says that to make sure it is in all humans and not something our society has brought about, one must do an anthropological study.
- She does, in Samoa and follows adolescent girls. “we choose primitive groups who have had thousands of years of historical development along completely different lines from our own.” “Therefore we cannot venture any guess that they would ever have arrived at our solutions.”
- “Knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.” idea of anthropology. From these observations we may be able to “make newly and vividly self-conscious and self-critical [judgments], and to judge anew and perhaps fashion differently the education we give our children”
Body Ritual among the Nacerima,
- Making the strange familiar
- Don’t make differing cultures super exotic
- antrhopological ethnography about the body rituals of the Nacerima.
-At the beggining this group of people seems completely stange but one quickly realises that this
- He talks about how weird we are about going to the dentist, always being unhappy with our physical aspect, or how we always keep unfinished medicin in a so called ‘shrine box’. Or men ‘lacerate’ their faces every day (shaving). Or even how we go to a ‘temple’ to often die, the hospital.
- This was quite interesting in that it saw our culture and society from a different angle, questioning even the things that seem so evident or normal to us,
Funes, the Memorious, by
Jorge Luis Borges
Culture is also about forgetting you have to forget in order to learn
- Takes place in Argentina, talk about a guy named Ireneo Funes from the town Fray Bentos.
- He asked Borges to borrow latin books and a dictionary. One night after receiving a telegram saying that his dad was dying, borges goes to Funes house and finds him in the dark muttering words in Latin and Spanish.
- He said that he had an accident (falling off a horse)and that before he ‘looked
without seeing, heard without hearing, forgot everything but now it was just the opposite, he remembered every detail.
- ‘He was the solitary and lucid spectator of a multiform world which was instantaneously and almost intolerably exact.
- But although he could remember everything he was not very smart even if he had come up with a way of giving names to numbers and remembered everything.
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