Unlike even afford to watch birds fight

Unlike quantitative research methodology
which interprets reliable population-based and generalizable data to investigate
casual relationships or behaviors by using statistics (Schlenberg, p.262), qualitative
research is non-statistical that requires longer participation and explores
dynamics in human interactions by using concrete materials in hand. A detailed
and rich interpretation of qualitative research data analysis often includes thick
description, which explains the behavior, the context in which it occurs, and
understandings that make it meaningful to participants (Schlenberg, p.212). In
anthropologist Geertz’s article Deep Play:
Notes on the Balinese Cockfight, the method of thick description is used
and reveals the non-obvious social hierarchy while addressing the cockfighting
phenomenon in a comprehensive way (Geertz, 2005). Geertz’s important notion
that has been expressed in his article is
basically on the culture of people, a ritual ensemble in which the people are
actually reflected. He describes the view of what are the dominant aspects of
Balinese society as simple as possible. Specifically, he is concerned with the
interpretation and the meaning of the cockfight. Geertz has outlined how
anthropology works as the evaluation of human culture and humanity, and its aims
to study all the aspects of social, cultural and physical life.

From Geertz’s perspective, culture seems semiotic such that any
representation is interdependent and social behaviors are understood as real
interpretations of the society. The cockfight seems to be a less important
piece of the Balinese culture in which men bet for cash that may not even
afford to watch birds fight to death (Geertz, 2005). According to Geertz, Balinese men became gripped
by these cockfights since these matches flung way social hierarchy which
defines the daily life of the Balinese (2005). This seemingly irrational social
event illustrated in the article became a prism through which one understands
the most important aspects of the Balinese culture and society.

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In Kaploun’s article From Geertz to Ryle: The thick Description Concept and Institutional
Analysis of Cultures, one thing that comes out obviously is that
it is possible to make specification of social science operational by using theoretical
advances in sociology and in philosophy of action and language (Kaploun, 2013).
Thick description has become borrowed in the study of ethnography and implies
two major things. It describes what anthropologists do when they have written
up the outcomes of a solid and carefully made ethnography. The other thing is
that it describes the intellectual entailments of a certain methodology. Professional
researchers use certain criteria to gather data and information that help them
judge the validity and reliability of their studies. One of the things that
have been underlined in thick description is the ability to look for the
richness of observational details, in order to prevent ethnography at risk of
being assumed as an anecdotal or as hearsay (Geertz, 2005). Nevertheless, when
observation details are reliable, detailed and thick enough, the objections on
the study become less plausible (Kaploun, 2013). Kaploun in his article
demonstrates the idea that ethnographic study is supported by a thousand of
certain observations on a particular event.

Another important point
is that both Geertz and Kaploun concur that a detailed research should look for
external corroboration of ethnography. The major aim of external corroboration
lies with an ethnographer, who is required to make references on relevant published
materials so as to support the conclusions of his or her studies (Kaploun,
2013). In reality and given the current position of world history, there are
only few remote societies that are completely unknown. Therefore, critical
observation of the cultures of different societies, individuals and detailed
research is helpful to thick description.

Moreover, Geertz and
Kaploun argue that looking for evidence requires one to know the ethnographic
area so well. As is the case in any discipline, the ability to judge is
somewhat arbitrary but powerful. One year of full time work in the field may be
considered minimal while more years give reassurance of a quality data that
would be collected (Kaploun, 2013). The ability to communicate in a language or
command in idioms whether in a metaphorical or spoken language gives more
reassurance of the quality of data. As such it is imperative that ethnographers
in thick description display great mastery of local idioms.

Last but not least, Geertz
assumes cultural recognition as the fundamental aims of anthropology. For
example, the identification of cultural symbols that represent certain social
processes of a certain group and the explanation of their meanings is
demonstrated in the case of Balinese cockfight by Geertz. As Max Weber believes
that human being is an animal that has been suspended in certain webs of
significance, it is clear that culture are those webs and a critical analysis
of it would be one in search of meaning (Geertz, 2005). Kaploun and Geertz have asserted that the things
that sociologists, philosophers, criminologists and all social scientists try
to interpret such as rituals, cockfights and myths are actually an
interpretation of the society where they are found. The culture of a society is
a real ensemble of the society itself. Therefore, a thick research analysis of
the society’s culture would help in provision of quality data.

In conclusion, Geertz
encountering with the Balinese cockfight enlightens him on how to relate with
the Balinese community. Both Geertz and Kaploun emphasize on polemic point that
is contrary to the opinion of the social anthropology determined by field work,
but by special intellectual effort. Interpretation of cultures is core to
gaining quality data as long as detailed evaluation and observation of the
society has been done. The two articles have affirmed that thick description
may be used as analytical procedure that isolates institutions in a culture
that is being studied. As such, thick description should entail a detailed
observations and accurate interpretations of the society.