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On the ground and off

[journal article]

Heiskanen, Benita

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Abstract In the United States, prizefighting carries deep-seated meanings as an ethnically and racially delineated, class-based and gendered practice. At present, the sport is characterized by its ongoing ‘latinization’ corresponding to Latinos’ integration endeavors in urban USA. This article examines boxing as a locus for identity formations. Based on four years of ethnographic fieldwork with a community of Latino prizefighters in Austin, TX between 2000 and 2004, the research draws on life-story interviews conducted with the boxers, while their experiences are situated within a theoretical framework of the body in space and place. The fieldwork brings the research ‘onto the ground’ to the actual sites-such as the boxing gym, the weigh-in and the competition venue-where the athletes conduct their occupation on a daily basis. As professional boxing determines these worker-athletes’ physical prowess, it also shapes their identities, day-to-day survival and their very mode of being in the world.
Free Keywords identity formations; place; professional boxing; space; the body; US Latinos;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 481-496
Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies, 9 (2006) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)