Roberto DaMatta, one of the foremost Brazilian anthropologists, and his colleague Elena Soarez approach the question of gambling in popular culture in general and its treatment in social anthropology in particular. They focus on the ""animal game,"" a kind of popular gambling entertainment or lottery within Brazil in which locals bet on a list of twenty-five animals. They argue that the success of this game, which originated in 1882 with the founding of the first zoo in Rio de Janeiro, and the social release the game provides are significant aspects of Brazilian social history and of the Brazilian ""identity."" Within the animal game, players ""totemize"" and identify with various animals. DaMatta and Soarez use this identification as a lens through which to view Brazil's modernity, society, the significance of gambling, and even the role of animal images in Brazilian and Western society. Appearing for the first time in English, this well-written work moves smoothly between comprehensive analysis and field observations of specific behaviors and practices, such as the lucky tricks and devices invested with magical thinking by those who play the game. This book will be of interest to students and scholars in sociology, anthropology, Brazilian studies, and Latin American cultural studies.
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 229 x 162 x 15 mm
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