Boxing is infused with ideas about masculinity, power, race and social class, and as such is an ideal lens through which social scientists can examine key modern themes. In addition, its inherent contradictions of extreme violence and beauty and of discipline and excess have long been a source of inspiration for writers and film makers.
Essential reading for anyone interested in the sociology of sport and cultural representations of gender, Boxing, Masculinity and Identity brings together ethnographic research with material from film, literature and journalism. Through this combination of theoretical insight and cultural awareness, Woodward explores the social constructs around boxing and our experience and understanding of central issues including:
- mind, body and the construction of identity
- spectacle and performance: tensions between the public and private person
- boxing on film: the role of cultural representations in building identities
- methodologies: issues of authenticity and ‘truth’ in social science.
Table of Contents
1. Boxing and gender identities 2. Outside in, inside out 3. Bodies and embodiment 4. Private stories, public stories: Heroes, celebrity and spectacle 5. When the going gets tough: going to the movies 6. Conclusion: I could have been a contender
Kath Woodward is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Open University, UK where she is also chair of the Introduction to the Social Sciences course, which has been taken by more than 60,000 students since the year 2000. Her particular research interest lies in gender identities, culture and the media.
"Anyone interested in boxing but also hungering theories largely unemcumbered by case studies and anecdotes will enjoy this book" Kath Woodward
" Her theory is unquestioningly sound and unfailingly thorough" Kath Woodward