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Aspects of a Localized Ocean: A Cultural Ethnography of Surfing
Authorjohnson, joseph Michael
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This research project evaluates the way in which culture, localism, and globalism (also referred to in this thesis as (g)localism) performatively converge in surfing communities. Localism, in accordance with the sport of surfing, include various communicative forms of aggressive behaviors by surfers, meant to deter other surfers from a specific surfing area. This, in turn, creates a greater supply of waves for the surfer who performs the actions of blocking out and enforces the unwritten rules. As a communicative act, localism performs a function in the surfing community, resulting in the potential to control the space associated with surfing and keeping the population size at a lower level. This thesis includes a thorough participant-observation of interactions while surfing, which I thickly describe in accordance with Clifford Geertz (1973). This and other examples of localism are ingrained into the communication behaviors of those who surf. With this said, (g)localism is a constitutive aspect of surfing culture. Specifically, I look at the surf community in Santa Cruz, California as a research site, based on its long record with global and local surf history.