Clifford Geertz Evil Eye research results

Clifford Geertz was an anthropologist who studied the role of the evil eye in Balinese culture. In his seminal work “The Interpretation of Cultures,” Geertz argues that the belief in the evil eye reflects deeper cultural beliefs about the dangers of envy and the need for social harmony.

In Balinese culture, the evil eye is believed to cause sickness and misfortune. Geertz suggests that this belief is rooted in a larger cultural belief about the dangers of envy. In Balinese society, there is a strong emphasis on social harmony and the importance of maintaining positive relationships with others. Envy is seen as a threat to this harmony, as it can lead to conflict and division.

Geertz also suggests that the belief in the evil eye serves as a way of reinforcing social norms and expectations. By attributing misfortune and sickness to the evil eye, Balinese culture discourages behavior that could be seen as selfish or greedy. This serves as a way of maintaining social order and promoting cooperation and mutual support.

Overall, Geertz’s research on the evil eye in Balinese culture emphasizes the importance of understanding the cultural context in which beliefs and practices arise. The belief in the evil eye is not simply a superstition, but reflects deeper cultural values and concerns. By studying the role of the evil eye in different cultures, we can gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which people interpret and make sense of the world around them.