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John Hartigan “The Social Lives of Wild Horses: An Ethnographic Perspective.” Introduced by Marisol de la Cadena
Each summer in Galicia, Spain, a 500-year old ritual unfolds in which free-roaming horses are herded up and their manes and tails are systematically shaved. Initially, their band structure and social forms of interaction collapse during this traumatic 4-day event, only to emerge newly reconfigured by its end. John Hartigan’s account of this transformation combines ethological techniques with an ethnographic perspective in an overarching analysis of how horse sociality responds to this ritual form of population management. Hartigan uses Erving Goffman’s concepts of “face” and “civil inattention” to analyze their social performances and inverts Clifford Geertz's analysis in the Balinese cockfight by regarding the horses as ethnographic subjects.

Apr 8, 2021 04:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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