Deception in practice: Hunting and bullfighting entanglements in southern Spain

Santiago M. Cruzada, Esteban Ruiz-Ballesteros, Alberto del Campo Tejedor


Deception is a recurrent strategy deployed in the relations between human beings, between humans and animals, and even between animals, and is normally analyzed from a perspective that emphasizes its discursive nature and certain of its ontological, epistemological and axiological effects. According to this orthodox view, deception falsifies, distorts, and conceals reality; it thus equates to a lie and is consequently devalued by it. An analysis of two ethnographic contexts of human–animal relations in southern Spain—partridge hunting and bullfighting—allows us to go beyond such a univocal and simple notion of deception. Through our analysis we wish to problematize and reconceptualize that notion, in a way that considers it as a practice and even as a resource; as a form of knowledge that fosters interaction and the generation of singular frameworks of experience, in which reality, the product of that deception, is lived—paradoxically—in terms of truth.


Deception, human–animal relations, southern Spain, hunting, bullfighting, practice

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/706804