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Curriculum Studies, The Future of: Essay 3

  • By: Petra Munro Hendry
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Curriculum studies is a field whose future must grapple with the cultural significance of curriculum as a symbolic act. Reconceiving curriculum from the perspective of culture will require a radical rupture in curriculum thought. Consequently, I draw on Clifford Geertz's seminal essay “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” to liken the curriculum to culture. Geertz's analysis of the Balinese cockfight recognizes the doubleness of cultural events, as well as the fact that events are not really real, but are made real through interpretation. The cockfight is a critical element of the culture of the Balinese in which blood sacrifice is offered to the demons to pacify their ravenous, cannibalistic hunger. Prior to any major temple festival, holiday, or ritual, a cockfight is held. However, ...

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