Animal Studies Bibliography
Herzog, Jr., H. A. 1988. Cockfighting and violence in the South. In W. Ferris (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (pp. 1477-1478). Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
A disproportionate number of cockfighters are rural Southerners. Most of these are white, middle to lower-middle class males, although women and kids attend frequently and African Americans participate regularly and on equal terms with whites. Cockers are not in any way sick or disturbed, and generally have the same attitudes as noncockers. Violence is associated with cockfighting. Of course, there's the violence between the cocks, in which one usually dies, although the spectacle is not as gory as one might expect. The sport's terminology is full of violent language. There is also a high potential for violence between people at cockfights, because of the drinking that goes on despite its prohibition in most pits, the betting that goes with the sport, and general competitive atmosphere. This possibility leads many cockers to carry concealed weapons to the fights. Fighting turns out to be fairly rare, however, because there are clear and rigid rules for the matches and strong norms against fighting in the pits. Because pit owners need to keep things quiet in order to avoid a community crackdown, fighters are generally made to leave the pit immediately and are often barred from returning. Cockers do not see their sport as violent, and easily list its many virtues. This is similar to the reactions of fans of other violent sports, like football, who would never say that they attend the sport for the violence.