1st Edition

Embodying Brazil An ethnography of diasporic capoeira

    244 Pages
    by Routledge

    244 Pages
    by Routledge

    The practice of capoeira, the Brazilian dance-fight-game, has grown rapidly in recent years. It has become a popular leisure activity in many cultures, as well as a career for Brazilians in countries across the world including the US, the UK, Canada and Australia. This original ethnographic study draws on the latest research conducted on capoeira in the UK to understand this global phenomenon. It not only presents an in-depth investigation of the martial art, but also provides a wealth of data on masculinities, performativity, embodiment, globalisation and rites of passage.

    Centred in cultural sociology, while drawing on anthropology and the sociology of sport and dance, the book explores the experiences of those learning and teaching capoeira at a variety of levels. From beginners’ first encounters with this martial art to the perspectives of more advanced students, it also sheds light on how teachers experience their own re-enculturation as they embody the exotic ‘other’.

    Embodying Brazil: An Ethnography of Diasporic Capoeira is fascinating reading for all capoeira enthusiasts, as well as for anyone interested in the sociology of sport, sport and social theory, sport, race and ethnicity, or Latin-American Studies.

    1. Do you know Capoeira? Introduction

    Part I: Initial Encounters

    2. Anybody Can Learn It: Becoming a Capoeira Student

    3. Freedom is the Lamp of the Masters: Becoming a Diasporic Capoeira Teacher

    4. The Masters Put on a Show: Capoeira Festivals as Tournaments of Value and Rites of Passage

    Part II: Serious Engagements

    5. Born in the Slave Quarters: A History of Capoeira

    6. All Parts of the Body: Changing Embodiment in Capoeira

    7. Malicia, Axé and Mandinga: Tacit Skills and Knowledge

    8. All the World is on the Move: Mobilities and their Meanings

    9. Dreaming Brazil: Capoeira ‘Here’ and ‘There’

    10. Conclusions: An Untranslatable Brazilian Term?

    Appendix 1. Methods

    Appendix 2. Briefing Notes and Glossary

    Appendix 3. Audio Visual and other Resources


    Sara Delamont is a Reader in Sociology at Cardiff University, UK.

    Neil Stephens is a Research Fellow in Social Sciences at Brunel University, UK.

    Claudio Campos is a Brazilian mestre in Capoeira, working in the UK.