Symbolism Of Cockfights

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Symbols are a representation of meaning used to indicate some type of understanding. For example, a McDonald's’ arch standing fifty feet in the air indicates to us that there is a McDonald's nearby. Another, more in-depth, example is a cock fight in Bali. The architecture of a classroom and the dynamic between the students and professor construct a common set of symbols that creates a meaningful experience. One such example is when I attended my SOC 300 class last Thursday. Geertz (1973) studied cockfights in Bali, Indonesia to represent his theory on cultural ritual and interaction, specifically how culture is a system of symbols and meanings. Geertz found that though there are monetary bets, what “is at stake [is] symbolic, 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”. Once Geertz found this, he started to see what made the fights symbolic. The cocks “are symbolic expressions..of their owner’s self” and money “is a symbol of moral import”. The professor stands in front of fifty students, lecturing them on Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto. Each student placed in a chair, facing forward and a desk in front of them. One person raises their hand, waiting patiently for the professor to call on them. At the end, a quiz is handed out to test each…show more content…
Geertz found that though there are monetary bets, what “is at stake [is] symbolic, 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”. Once Geertz found this, he started to see what made the fights symbolic. The cocks “are symbolic expressions..of their owner’s self” and money “is a symbol of moral

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