Of Mule And Men Summary

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The ethnographies of Zora Neale Hurstson's Of Mules and Men and that of the Clifford Geertz's Balinese Cockfight contrast significantly in their writings. They contrast in that they differ in their ethnographic approach, what or who they are observing and their judgements placed on those they are observing. The narrative voice remains the same between the two Anthropologist's writing but seems to be the only thing. Hurstons's Of Mules and Men made great contributions to African American culture as we know if today. She focusses her ethnography on African American folklore of the time in the 1930s. Hurston and Geertz have very different ethnographic approaches when it comes to their writings. Hurston approach to her ethnography is participant observation and some elements of her writings are autobiographical. It…show more content…
Geertz approaches his writings in different way in that he uses symbolic anthropology, with the use of the cock flights being symbolic of that of the Balinese culture and social structures. Hurston is able to integrate herself into the culture she is observing and she was brought up in the area she is observing and knows a few of the locals from her childhood. Where it takes Geertz longer to try be integrated and get a conclusive observation as he himself his an outsider. They both have some difficulties being able to fully immerse themselves at some points but Hurston has a better background to do it. In chapter four of Hurstons writing she is excluded when people believe she must be a detective and she has nice clothes and a car. This is not a good thing for her as many people in those parts are fugitives or have done jail time but she is able to rectify this problem when she has a conversation with a person named Mr Pitt. After this conversation people the people around her allowed he to become fully integrated in their doings, which allowed her in turn that she was able to collect many
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